Baal teshuva

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A ba'al teshuvah' (Hebrew: בעל תשובה‬; for a woman, בעלת תשובה‬, baalat teshuva or baalas teshuva; plural, בעלי תשובה‬, baalei teshuva, "master of return [to God]"). Baal teshuvah literally means in Hebrew "master of return" i.e., one who has "returned" to God.

Originally, the term referred to a Jew who transgressed the halakhah (Jewish law) knowingly or unknowingly and completed a process of introspection to "return" to the full observance of God's mitzvot. According to the Talmud, a true "ba'al teshuvah" stands higher in shamayim (lit. "heaven") than a "frum from birth", even higher than a tzadik, chasal says. In contemporary times, the phrase is primarily used to refer to a Jew from a secular background who becomes religiously observant (normally in an Orthodox fashion) later in life. The alternative term, chozer b'teshuvah (חוזר בתשובה) is more commonly used in Israel.

Baal teshuva movement[edit]

Famous baalei teshuva[edit]

See also[edit]