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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Restoring the neshama.”

The question that a person must answer in this life is not whether he is meeting the quota of accomplishments required of him in his life, but whether he is exceeding it, surpassing what is required of him and even surpassing what he is capable of doing.

Restoring the neshama is the work of teshuva in its widest scope.

A person descends and he must return, and the question is: Where?

Should he return to the place where he was before, to correct what needs correction and then continue from that point?

Or should he perhaps go beyond that?

Should he return to the past and fill in even what was missing in it, return and uplift the past itself higher than it ever was?

The saying “to raise heaven” is connected with the highest level of teshuva, wherein a person rectifies not only the transgressions he committed, but also the mitzvot that he performed and, what is more, even the mitzvot that he did not perform.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz