Book | Return and Renewal: Reflections on Teshuva and Spiritual Growth
The process of repentance, teshuva, presents each of us with both challenges and opportunities. While self-scrutiny, confession, and commitment to change are among the most difficult human undertakings, the very process of renewing and reconnecting – to ourselves and to God – is a gift that can fundamentally repair us, our communities, and society at large.
In his annual discourses on repentance, Harav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l set out to make the elusive path of teshuva more navigable. Return and Renewal collects twelve of these public lectures, adapted for print by Michael S. Berger and Reuven Ziegler. In these essays, Rav Lichtenstein marshals a broad array of Jewish sources, along with classics of the Western tradition and his own sensitivity to the human condition, to examine the psychological, emotional, and spiritual elements of sin and repentance. By exploring the habits and impulses that may prevent enduring change or abet it, Return and Renewal provides a high-resolution map of our spiritual lives as we embark on our journeys of religious growth.
More than many of his other writings, these essays in both tone and substance give us the palpable sense of sitting at R. Lichtenstein’s feet, and of being in his beit midrash. The honesty and candor of the rebbe-talmid relationship suffuses this volume, as does the concern of the master for his disciples’ improvement.
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Table of Contents and Sample Chapter: