HaBucher HaChushev Ploni ben Nistar here for shtick, news and fun. You know, a Chassidic life isn't as boring and heavy as most people might think! ;-)
מצוה גדולה להיות בשמחה תמיד
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DISCLAIMER: Questions on Jewish Law (Halacha), I will try to answer to the best of my ability. Note that my understanding may not be accurate nor be the final word on asked topic. One should consult an Orthodox Rabbi before drawing any conclusions.
Since Shabbos is around the corner again. I’ll write about something the Turei Zahav (242) wrote.
Our sages teach us (Shabbos 118b) that “if someone observes Shabbos according to Halacha, even if he commits avodoh zoroh (idolatry) like the generation of Enosh [when idol worship began], he is forgiven. For it says, “Happy is Enosh who does this, who keeps Shabbos meichallelo [from desecrating it]” - Yeshaya/Isaiah 56:2. Now, do not read meichallelo, but machul lo - “he is forgiven.” By keeping Shabbos even ones worst sins are forgiven.
The gemora speaks about a person who has repented of idol worship. In general, teshuva alone isn’t enough to gain forgiveness for such a sin. If someone’s liable for kareis (to be cut off from his people), the punishment for the idol worshipper, teshuva is not enough to clear him of his transgression. But according to the gemora, if a person keeps Shabbos properly, his teshuva suddenly has the power to bring about Hashem’s forgiveness.
The Minchas Shabbos, in the introduction, explains it as follows:
Everyone is in awe of Yom Kippur. People fast and afflict themselves, and they are careful to avoid the slightest transgression. Yet the kedushah (holiness) of Shabbos does not affect them all that much. We are awed by Yom Kippur because it’s the day on which Hashem forgives our sins. But we should realize that Shabbos grants forgiveness even more than Yom Kippur does. Indeed, for observing the Shabbos, Hashem pardons all our sins.”
May we all remember this and do a complete teshuva by keeping Shabbos.