THE FIRST DOCUMENTED CASE OF TESHUVAH
Is there anything you cannot reverse?
There was one man who, singlehandedly, slaughtered a quarter of the world. Could such a person ever do teshuvah – could he ever return to God after such a betrayal of his divine essence?
Indeed, can any killer ever return to purity?
Yes, in fact, the Ruzhiner Rebbe teaches that returning to purity is as easy as sinning.
The first documented case of teshuvah was Cain. Yup, the same guy that slaughtered his own brother Abel, when there were only four people on earth (Adam, Eve and their two sons, Cain and Abel).
When Adam heard that Cain did teshuvah, he composed a psalm – a psalm which Moses taught the Nation of Israel and which we sing every Shabbat.
This soul-inspiring sermon explores the connection between these seemingly disparate ideas and, through a fascinating story about teshuvah that happened to Rabbi Saadiah Gaon, redefines our very definition of teshuvah itself.
It’s all about returning to the scene of the crime – before the crime was even committed.