Baal teshuva

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Baal teshuvah)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In Judaism, 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.[1]

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 Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, the Talmud says that a true "ba'al teshuvah" stands higher in shamayim (lit. "heaven") than a "frum from birth", even higher than a tzadik:[2]

The sages said: "The place whereon the penitent stand the wholly righteous could not stand;" as if saying: "their degree is above the degree of those who ever did not sin, because it is more difficult for them to subdue their passion than for the others.[3]

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), plural chozrim b’teshuvah, is more commonly used in Israel.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What Is A Ba'al Teshuvah?". myjewishlearning.com.
  2. ^ Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin. "Tzaddik — The Baal Teshuvah". Chabad.org.
  3. ^ "Laws of Repentance 7:4, citing Berakot, 34b. C. G." Mishneh Torah.
  4. ^ Dana Kessler (11 December 2018). "'Baal Teshuvah': The Next Generation". Tablet (magazine).