(13) If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving the LORD your God and serving God with all your heart and soul, (14) I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late. You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil— (15) I will also provide grass in the fields for your cattle—and thus you shall eat your fill. (16) Take care not to be lured away to serve other gods and bow to them. (17) For the LORD’s anger will flare up against you, and God will shut up the skies so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its produce; and you will soon perish from the good land that the LORD is assigning to you. (18) Therefore impress these My words upon your very heart: bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead, (19) and teach them to your children—reciting them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up; (20) and inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates— (21) to the end that you and your children may endure, in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to assign to them, as long as there is a heaven over the earth.
(כג) הֶחָפֹ֤ץ אֶחְפֹּץ֙ מ֣וֹת רָשָׁ֔ע נְאֻ֖ם אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֑ה הֲל֛וֹא בְּשׁוּב֥וֹ מִדְּרָכָ֖יו וְחָיָֽה׃ (ס)
(23) Is it my desire that a wicked person shall die?—says the Lord GOD. It is rather that they shall turn back from their ways and live.
Some of the ways Rabbi Green defines teshuvah in chapter 5 of Judaism's 10 Best Ideas:
- Return to God (x3)
- Real change in the human heart
- Sincere and lasting change
- Restoring one's lost inner balance
- Reestablishing intimacy and trust with God
- Return to our Source
(ח) חַטָּאת וְאָשָׁם וַדַּאי מְכַפְּרִין. מִיתָה וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפְּרִין עִם הַתְּשׁוּבָה. הַתְּשׁוּבָה מְכַפֶּרֶת עַל עֲבֵרוֹת קַלּוֹת עַל עֲשֵׂה וְעַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה. וְעַל הַחֲמוּרוֹת הִיא תוֹלָה עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וִיכַפֵּר:
(8) The sin-offering and the certain guilt-offering effect atonement. Death and Yom HaKippurim effect atonement together with repentance. Repentance effects atonement for light transgressions: [the transgression of] positive commandments and negative commandments. And for severer transgressions [repentance] suspends [the divine punishment], until Yom HaKippurim arrives and effects atonement.
(ט) הָאוֹמֵר, אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב, אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב, אֵין מַסְפִּיקִין בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה. אֶחֱטָא וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם, יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. אֶת זוֹ דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה, מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי יְיָ תִּטְהָרוּ (ויקרא טז), עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם, יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אַשְׁרֵיכֶם יִשְׂרָאֵל, לִפְנֵי מִי אַתֶּם מִטַּהֲרִין, וּמִי מְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם, אֲבִיכֶם שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (יחזקאל לו), וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וּטְהַרְתֶּם. וְאוֹמֵר (ירמיה יז), מִקְוֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל יְיָ, מַה מִּקְוֶה מְטַהֵר אֶת הַטְּמֵאִים, אַף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מְטַהֵר אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל:
(9) One who says: I shall sin and repent, sin and repent, they do not afford that person the opportunity to repent. [If one says]: I shall sin and Yom HaKippurim will atone for me, Yom HaKippurim does not effect atonement.
For transgressions between a person and God Yom HaKippurim effects atonement, but for transgressions between a person and their fellow Yom HaKippurim does not effect atonement, until they have pacified their fellow.
Rabbi Yitzḥak said: They say in the West, Eretz Yisrael, in the name of Rabba bar Mari: Come and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One of Blessing.
With flesh and blood people, if one insults their friend with words, it is uncertain whether the victim will be appeased by them or will not be appeased by them. And if you say they will be appeased, it is still uncertain whether they will be appeased by words alone or will not be appeased by words alone, and one must try to appease them in other ways.
But with regard to the Holy One of Blessing, if a person commits a transgression in private, God is appeased by words, as it is stated: “Take with you words and return to God” (Hosea 14:3).
§ Rabbi Yitzḥak said: One who angers his friend, even only verbally, must appease him, as it is stated: “My son, if you have become a guarantor for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth…Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself, seeing you have come into the hand of your neighbor. Go, humble yourself [hitrapes] and urge [rehav] your neighbor” (Proverbs 6:1–3).
This should be understood as follows: If you have money that you owe him, open the palm of [hater pisat] your hand to your neighbor and pay the money that you owe; and if not, if you have sinned against him verbally, increase [harbe] friends for him, i.e., send many people as your messengers to ask him for forgiveness.
(ו) וַיַּעֲבֹ֨ר יְהוָ֥ה ׀ עַל־פָּנָיו֮ וַיִּקְרָא֒ יְהוָ֣ה ׀ יְהוָ֔ה אֵ֥ל רַח֖וּם וְחַנּ֑וּן אֶ֥רֶךְ אַפַּ֖יִם וְרַב־חֶ֥סֶד וֶאֱמֶֽת ׀ (ז) נֹצֵ֥ר חֶ֙סֶד֙ לָאֲלָפִ֔ים נֹשֵׂ֥א עָוֺ֛ן וָפֶ֖שַׁע וְחַטָּאָ֑ה וְנַקֵּה֙ לֹ֣א יְנַקֶּ֔ה פֹּקֵ֣ד ׀ עֲוֺ֣ן אָב֗וֹת עַל־בָּנִים֙ וְעַל־בְּנֵ֣י בָנִ֔ים עַל־שִׁלֵּשִׁ֖ים וְעַל־רִבֵּעִֽים׃
(6) The LORD passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD! the LORD! a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, (7) extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet God does not remit all punishment, but visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generations.”
(יא) יְהֹוָה יְהֹוָה אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶֽרֶךְ אַפַּֽיִם וְרַב חֶֽסֶד וֶֽאֱמֶת: נֹצֵר חֶֽסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וָפֶֽשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה: וְסָלַחְתָּ לַעֲוֹנֵֽנוּ וּלְחַטָּאתֵֽנוּ וּנְחַלְתָּֽנוּ: סְלַח לָֽנוּ אָבִֽינוּ כִּי חָטָֽאנוּ. מְחַל לָֽנוּ מַלְכֵּֽנוּ כִּי פָשָֽׁעְנוּ: כִּי אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי טוֹב וְסַלָּח וְרַב חֶֽסֶד לְכָל קֹרְאֶֽיךָ:
(11) Adonai, Adonai, Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger, and Abundant in Kindness and Truth. Keeper of kindness for thousands of generations, Forgiver of iniquity, and transgression, and sin; and Acquitter of those who repent.
“And pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Your inheritance.” (Exodus 34:9). Pardon us our Father, for we have sinned, forgive us our King, for we have transgressed. “For You, my Master, are good and forgiving, and abounding in kindness to all who call upon You.”