There was a time when people would sit and ponder their sins, their faults and just everything wrong, bad and crummy about themselves. They would cry and sob from their hearts, fall asleep weeping, and then they would get up the next morning with a pure soul to serve their Maker.

Nowadays, when someone ponders his failures, it almost inevitably leads to depression. When pondering a past sin, he usually remembers what a geshmak it was and ends up doing more.

So what happened? Quite simply, the darkness got thicker. When you're surrounded by light, it's okay to stick your nose into a few dark corners—maybe you'll find something valuable you lost in there. But when you live in a world with the lights dimmed and all the blinds pulled down, dark corners become bottomless, John Wheeler black holes.

That's why repentance is so darn dangerous nowadays. When someone calls me up and says, "Rabbi, I messed up! How do I repent?"--I tell them, "Repentance? Stay away from that stuff! It's hazardous!"

So they say, "But, whadja I gotta do about this sin messup deal in my life?" And I tell 'em, "Just start running towards the light." And they say, "But then I'll never do the teshuva thing, like it says in all those books, about deep remorse and weeping over your sins."

And I say, "Right now, forget the remorse and the weeping. Just get past it! It's a trap. It's your nasty, self-destructive snake inside trying to take you for lunch."

"No, rabbi, no! I gotta repent!"

"You don't wanta repent. You want a replay!"

"A what?"

"A replay. That's when your mind experiences something pleasurable and so goes back to replay it again and again, until it rewires all its neurons so it can get lots more of it. But you won't let your mind replay this particular messup, because you know it was real immoral, bad and crummy. So your mind, being just as smart as you are, since it is your mind after all, comes up with a solution: It says, "I don't want a replay—I want to repent." Well, you don't. You want a replay. Nothing to do with repenting."

And you say: "But when will I rip away all the ugly stuff clinging to me because of this lousy thing I did?"

And I answer: "When you are running towards the light, filling your life with more wisdom, more understanding, more mitzvahs, more joy, love, beauty and the light is getting brighter and brighter, but you just can't get it because something is holding you back, and you realize it's that crummy messup from the past, and you say, "Get off my back!" you look behind for a sec, throw it away, and fly ahead. That's when you repent. But not until then."

Why? What happened? The darkness got darker; the light got closer.

Today, only the children of light can rise.