Teshuvah of this nature also affects one’s deeds. As explained in several sources,1 [the order of the words in] the phrase “teshuvah and good deeds” [is significant. The Torah, which is called] “the Torah of truth,” deems the deeds one performs before teshuvah as “deeds,” i.e., they are deeds of consequence, deeds of mitzvah.2 Nevertheless, through teshuvah, the deeds [are raised to a higher level], becoming good and luminous,3 because the light of the Torah shines within them. More specifically, it is not [merely] “the light of the Torah” (אור התורה) that shines within the deeds, it is “the luminary of the Torah” (מאור שבתורה), the essence of the Torah, that illuminates their deeds.4

In particular, [the elevation of one’s deeds through teshu­vah] applies to the explanation in the [parent] maamar5 that “good deeds” refer to [the contributions of] “the supporters of the Torah,” those who give tzedakah both in money and in physical effort, exerting themselves greatly for the sake of the students of the Torah. [Their efforts are highlighted in] the interpretation of the phrase:6 ותומכיה מאושר, “Its (i.e., the Torah’s) supporters are fortunate.” [Our Sages comment:]7 “Do not read מאושר (‘fortunate’), [rather, transpose these letters so that the phrase] reads מראשו (‘from its head’),” i.e., that the tzedakah given for the sake of Torah causes “the luminary of the Torah,” [its “head,”] to shine [for its supporters].

This explanation also enables us to understand our Sages’ statement:8Tzedakah is great because it brings the Redemption closer.”9 In particular, this is true according to the explanation of the advantage of tzedakah in Tanya,10 that [it elevates a person’s physical vitality in its entirety]. It is as if he gave away “the life of his soul,” because with the coin given to tzedakah he could have purchased [food that would nourish] the life of his soul.

May we be worthy that through the Divine service described above, we proceed to the Redemption that will nullify all boundaries and limitations,11 as explained in the following maamar [in Derushei Chasunah]12 with regard to the verse:13Jerusalem will be settled like an unwalled city.”14 May this take place speedily in our days, in the near future.


Teshuvah also elevates a person’s observance of the mitzvos to a higher level. On this basis, we can understand the wording “teshuvah and good deeds,” i.e., teshuvah makes a person’s deeds good and luminous.

In particular, the above motif is expressed through the deeds of “the supporters of the Torah,” who give of their resources and efforts for the Torah’s sake. Giving tzedakah with such motivation brings closer the Ultimate Redemption.