This superior form of teshuvah, the cleaving of spirit to spirit through intellectual study of Torah and physical performance of acts of kindness, is a matter of eliciting from Above— that the word of G‑d shall actually be in his mouth, as in "I place my words in your mouth," and "His right hand embraces me" because of man's acts of kindness since "Kindness is the right arm..."

But the mortal man must move from stage to stage, ascending gradually until he attains this superior teshuvah and cleaving of spirit to spirit. He ascends through the heart's devoted worship, particularly during Shema and its blessings, that he might in perfect truth say, "You shall love ... with all your heart and with all your soul..." and "These words shall be ... speak of them ..." The word of G‑d must truly be in his mouth, and there is no truth ...

Then he must assiduously perform all the mitzvot, for "He has sanctified us with His commandments." This sanctification is identical with "You are sanctified unto me." This is the highest degree of sacredness, an expression of separation and apartness, that cannot be contained within Creation since "All are considered as naught before Him." This sacredness attains to the state of Encompassing all worlds, the Supreme Will... as discussed in Likutei Amarim, ch. 46.

After worship again we say, "To You, O G‑d, I lift my soul," that spirit cleave to spirit all through the day... All this is brought about through meditation on the greatness of the Infinite, concentrating the mind deeply in the two blessings preceding Shema and in Psukai d'zimra, as is known.

Since the tefilla is the state of teshuvah ila'a, the higher return, it must be preceded by teshuvah tata'a, the lower return. This is what the Sages intended in the Mishna, "One embarks on worship only with earnestness." Rashi explains, "Humility." This is the state of teshuvah tata'a, to arouse divine compassion, as noted above, and as the Talmud infers from the passage, "She was embittered."

At the same time we must note the Beraita there, "Our Sages taught, 'One embarks on worship only with joy.'" In our bereaved generation, when not all are capable of turning their hearts instantly from the extreme of humility to joy, it is advised that the time for teshuvah tata'a be designated at Tikun Chatzot, as we noted above. Whoever cannot do this nightly should maintain an absolute minimum of once every week, before the Shabbat. It is familiar to the initiates that Shabbat is on the order of teshuvah ila'a, and the very letters of the word Shabbat spell tashev, as in, "You return man." On Shabbat all the worlds ascend to their source ... The Shabbat worship particularly is on the order of teshuvah ila'a. This will suffice for the knowledgeable.

(We can now understand the verse, "Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." Since "I have wiped away your sins like a cloud"— removing the sitra achra, and "I have redeemed you" from evil through the arousal of the Supreme Compassion following the initiative taken by man below in his teshuvah tata'a, as explained above— therefore, "Return to Me"— with teshuvah ila'a.)