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"Great is teshuvah, for it transforms deliberate sins into accidental ones."

Three Different Kinds of Sin

Three Different Kinds of Sin

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-One, Section 4b


Now we will also explain the differences between cheit [iniquity], avon [transgression], and pesha [rebellious sin].

Pesha is when a person recognizes his Master, and yet rebels against Him to cause anger.

Pesha is when a person recognizes his Master, and yet rebels against Him to cause anger. This causes the kelipot to take all of the ShPA/'shefa' [spiritual sustenance], which shares the same letters of PShA/'pesha' , except re-arranged. So the shefa does then not come down to the Jewish people at all. [It is 'rearranged' and given into the wrong hands - the sitra achra.]

This comes from the Sefer Yetzira. It also mentions there ONG/oneg [delight] which permutates to NGO/nega [tzara'at, various skin diseases (usually and incorrectly translated as "leprosy") that can render a person spiritually impure]. It is a great lesson in how ‘every man digs his own grave’. The same Divine flux granted to the person that could have been utilized for good and would have resulted in delight instead was used for bad and digs the person a grave of problems - relative states of death.

Avon is when a person does whatever he wants, but not to anger G‑d, but just to enjoy forbidden things he desires. This also causes the kelipot to take the shefa that flows down, except that after they take it they eventually return and leave a little of the shefa for us as well. This is the secret of exile [during which a minimum amount of spiritual sustenance makes it through].

The world was made from the Torah and for the sake of fulfilling it.

One of the problems of exile is that it switches the proper order. The world was made from the Torah and for the sake of fulfilling it. The Divine flow then comes to its target audience on the side of holiness. The sitra achra receives afterwards and is subsidiary. This is the fitting order. If the sitra achra is as if on top and receives first, this gives it license to act as the main thing.

When redemption comes everyone will see the truth and the king will be restored to his royal status and the servant to his place.

This will help you to understand two statements of the Sages in the last chapter of Yoma (86b), the first being: "Great is teshuvah, for it transforms deliberate sins into accidental ones". This is talking about the level of sin called pesha, which causes the kelipot to take all the shefa for themselves. However, as a result of teshuvah, he can cause the kelipot to later surrender that shefa [back] to us.

...teshuvah can fix even such things.

Measure for measure; if the person fully rebelled, he loses all his shefa. The discovery here is that teshuvah can fix even such things.

The other opinion is that the deliberate transgressions become merits. This is talking about the level of avon, sins for the sake of fulfilling desires. When a person repents for such sins, he prevents the kelipot from taking any shefa at all, [And] even that which they originally took for themselves [is restored to holiness].

Teshuvah can go so far that even rebellious sins can be turned into actual merits. Of it says the Prophet, "I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely" (Haggai), It is a Divine magic gift that can change and transform truckloads of mistakes into masses of good energy

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Rabbi Peretz Auerbach, originally from New York, has been living and learning Torah and kabbala in Jerusalem for 18 years. He teaches at Shvu Ami beit medrash, lectures in Kabbalah and chassidut at the Jerusalem Connection and Heritage House and to private groups. Rabbi Auerbach is also a talented musician. He is currently working on an all new translation of the Zohar into English with extensive commentary as well as a disc entitled "Music, Meditation and Mysticism."
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