You knock at heaven's door, and give your name. They say they never heard of you. You have been gone for so long, you are not on their list. But the King remembers you. He had sent you on a mission, but you got lost in the abyss. The King says: "Make room for this man; he is bringing news." The entire court, all of them noble souls, makes way to form a corridor as you walk, breathless, toward the throne. You bless the King's Name with each step. You proclaim that everything written in the sacred books is true; that He is true and His Torah is true and the man Moses is true. You saw it with your own eyes down there in the recesses of the world. They bring out maps—the charts of Creation—to verify whether your journey corresponds to Heaven's design, whether you have fulfilled the King's dearest wish: to build a small dwelling for Him in the lower depths of the world.

You feel great shame, seeing the holy members of the court making way for you. You stand there apologizing for your poor person, for your past, with repetitious and ostensible bows, even as they urge you to proceed. Some of them cannot resist asking questions. "How was it down there in the abyss?" They want to know. They are eager to hear how you staged your return, to which you gladly oblige by explaining that rather than reaching up for the Divine, you went further down instead, digging wells, only to find that the waters down there have the same blueness of which the heavens are made. You explain how, in spite of the fact that at some point you knew your way out, you chose nevertheless to dwell in the depths, digging, while anticipating the thrill of meeting with the King. You go on describing how, in your mind, you figured out that perhaps in digging deep below the very place where you stand, you extended the distance between the heavens and the earth. You established an outpost, thus promoting a vigorous circulation between the heavens and the new frontier. This had been your main preoccupation but you are not so certain that it was effective. "Indeed it was," one of the members of the court admits. "Nothing moves Heaven more than when one locates a new limit," he continues. "Originally," adds another member of the court, "the limit in question has, since Creation, been the established distance; only it was not explored. Now, it is you who are blazing the trail. You have made G‑d known in the depths!"

You have earned the title "Master of the Return." For you left none of your belongings in the abyss. You did not commit the dreadful error of ridding yourself of your past, as one does an old cloth. Instead of discarding your faults indiscriminately, you first attempted to make them into assets, either by recycling them or replacing them in the correct context. You went as far as using what was decidedly evil in some of them as fuel for your return trip, which amounts to saying that you have succeeded in turning every one of your mistakes into merits.

You thank everyone and kiss every hand in your passage. "If not for your help," you shout from the top of your lungs, "I would still be there in the abyss! Thank G‑d, who has created the Just. Thank God, Who has put in my passage a true tzaddik, a warrior king, who deserves the title "Master of Return," in so far as he has redeemed my past and the past of Israel. For my tzaddik, my Rebbe, my redeemer, fulfills a dual role, that of Shabbat, the settled light, and of Or Hozer, the traveling light. For years, his light kept coming at me to purify my flesh, so as to make it a more fitting vessel.

"I have toiled with my own hands, it is true, but how does that compare with the effect of just one of his blessings? When, for instance, my instinct in the past had been to use force to make my point, either through speech or political stratagem, he blessed me with pleasant conduct. From that day on, I made it my business to keep my mouth shut, to ascertain that my words would not cause irreparable damage. I learned that an answer, true though it may be, rather than resolving a conflict, would only serve to fan the fire. At times it seemed as though I was holding a wild animal by the leash. I remained mute. By then, however, either my old opponent had picked the answer out of the air or he had probably grown wise enough to figure it out on his own. Nothing pleased me more than that. For is there anything more pleasant to the soul than helping someone to grow independent? In that sense, because I have tamed the animal in me—in so far as to have the animal respect my wish to make peace with the adversary—I may have deserved, in my own modest way, the all-too-honorable title of 'Master of Return.'"