The world thinks--says chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi in one of his discourses--that teshuvah is for sinners. But in truth, also the perfectly righteous person must do teshuvah — that is, return to the root-source of his soul...

Commonly translated as "repentance," teshuvah literally means "return." Teshuvah is the soul's capacity to return to its original state, to its pristine core. As we pass through life, we are invariably coarsened and sullied by our errors and misjudgments, or simply by the travails of physical life; but our innermost self, the "veritable part of G‑d" that is the essence of our soul — remains untouched. Teshuvah is the G‑d-given ability to access and reconnect to that untouched self, reestablish our lives upon its foundation, and even redefine a negative past in its purifying light.

Here are thirteen essays and stories that explore the dynamics of teshuvah, the what, why and how of the most powerful force known to man — the power of self-transformation:


The Best Kept Secret in the World
by Yanki Tauber

Where is Life's "Undo" Function?
by Tzvi Freeman

by Jay Litvin

by Israel Rubin

A Voice from Heaven
by Dovi Scheiner

How to Change the Past
by Yanki Tauber

G‑d's Business
based on the Rebbe's teachings


by Jay Litvin

The Tenth Jew
by Yrachmiel Tilles

A Pound of Candles
by Rabbi S. Y. Zevin

A Tzaddik's Repentance
by Tuvia Bolton

by Tzivia Emmer

The Damaged Diamond
by Pesach and Channa Burston