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Restore Us Like New
by Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover

Our body has the remarkable ability to heal itself. Whenever there is damage to the skin or other organ, platelets first accumulate at the site of the wound to form a plug and prevent further bleeding. Then white blood cells congregate at the site to remove bacteria and debris, preventing infection. This stage is followed by the proliferative phase, during which new tissue grows to fill in for the damaged cells.

However, scar tissue will never have the same suppleness or function as the original organ.

Just as is true in the physical sense, the same is in the spiritual vein. Through our sins, we cause injury and damage to our soul, and sometimes this expresses itself through physical injury as well. Our souls also can undergo a process of self-repair, if we do teshuvah for our misdeeds and resolve not to repeat our actions. However, teshuvah cannot completely eradicate the harm caused by the sin. There is still a small blemish, a scar, that remains from our sins, and our spiritual capacities are forever diminished.

The above applies only to teshuvah in the ordinary sense. However, there is a form of teshuvah that is so powerful that it can remove the blemish entirely. Moreover, on a higher level, teshuvah can actually transform the sins into mitzvot, spiritual merits.

How is this possible? When we sin, we create distance between ourselves and G-d. In truth, the distance is only from our end; we feel distanced from G-d, but never does G-d distance Himself from us. Yet this sense of distance can impel a person to overcome barriers and reunite with G-d. Because of his perceived estrangement from G-d, the soul cries out within him, begging him to restore his relationship with G-d. This cry from the soul is so insistent, so overpowering, that it causes the person to leap over all limitations to connect with G-d. Because it was the sins, in a sense, that created the distance which ultimately led to the reunion, the sins themselves become transformed into merits.

This form of teshuvah is a resurrection of the dead of sorts. A part of the soul that had been dormant and seemingly lifeless is rejuvenated. When Moshiach comes, our bodies as well as our souls will experience this rejuvenation. Every organ and limb will be restored to its most intact, perfect condition and we will reunite with G-d in complete perfection, body and soul.

Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover is chairman of the Center of Magnetohydrodynamic Studies and Training at Ben-Gurion University.


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