Teshuva Created a Stable World

Perfect Righteousness and Great Penitence

                                   
The gemora in Avoda Zora 4b and 5a teaches that the purpose of Creation was not to make perfect people, which obviously never happened, but to create people who sin and repent. True repentance is the purpose of Creation. That is proven when King David, who murdered a man and raped his wife, is honored to recite the Grace among the greatest saints in the Future World. Why did David merit this? Because the purpose of Creation was penitence, and immediately when the prophet rebuked David for his terrible sin, he devoted his life to penitence and to teaching others about penitence. Now obviously when a murderer hears about sin and punishment and mumbles, “I am sorry” we are not satisfied with his penitence, which much be really powerful and sincere, and may take years to achieve if ever. David did repent properly, and for his penitence, he merited the honor to lead the services among the greatest saints in the Future World.
If the purpose of life was not perfection but penitence, we can look into perhaps the oldest book of the Torah after the Prophets, the Book of Rabbi Eliezar ben Hurkenuse. Rabbo Eliezar was the student of  Rabbi Yochana ben Zackai, who lived at the time of the Destruction of the Temple, and saved the Torah in his meeting with the Roman conqueror, when he said, “Give me Yavneh and its sages.”
Rabbi Eliezar’s book contains many deep ideas. In the beginning of the book [in my volume it is page 6A] he writes that when G‑d decided to create the world He organized it and failed to sustain it. Because something was missing the world could not survive being created. Finally, G‑d created  penitence, teshuva, and the world found what it needed to exist properly. Thus, teshuva was not just a secondary element of Creation, but rather, without teshuva the world would simply collapse into nothing. The gemora in Avoda Zora 4b and 5a simply reinforce this with stories about the Israelites at Sinai who worshipped the Golden Calf and yet G‑d accepted their teshuva, and David who sinned with Bas Sheva and her husband, and remained a saint due to his teshuva.
Rabbi Eliezar adds there that seven things were created before the world could be created. The sixth thing was teshuva and the seventh thing was the Name of the Messiah. We don’t know how important the Name of Moshiach is or will be, but we have an idea from the above gemora in Avoda Zora how important teshuva is.
When Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, whereas they had very high souls, being created physically and spiritually by G‑d Himself, they realized that the purpose of life was penitence, and after their sin, they got right to work. Recall the passage says that “And he drove out the man” meaning according to the Book of Eliyohu “like a woman.” A man is married. Usually, a marriage begins happily, but down the road can come problems, and there can be a divorce. This divorce is a tragedy and the Altar in the Temple cries for it. The key is to rectify the problem, the divorce, which rends heaven and earth. Adam’s sin and being driven away had one purpose, to create the capacity in Adam to repent properly. He began that immediately by honoring his wife that she was the mother of all human life. She, who ruined his life by her dealing with the Snake in the Garden of Eden, was honored by Adam who suffered terribly from her. But he realized that now was not the time to blame people, that G‑d had given him one wife and would not create another one after he was expelled from the Garden. Therefore, Adam turned to Eve to make peace with her instead of the anger he may have felt for her dealing with the Snake and getting them both expelled from the Garden of Eden. By so doing, by accepting his wife’s errors and sins, Adam took a major step in penitence that restored him from the being driven from the Garden. And it is exactly in that discussion in the Book of Elijah, that begins with Adam’s “divorce like a woman” that concludes with the incredible statement that Derech Erets is greater than the Torah and is greater than the Tree of Life! Derech Erets teaches us to honor other people, and that is often quite a trick. Of course, when people are married and somebody does something terrible, forgiving is not easy. But Derech Erets requires us to honor others, even people who deserve something worse than honor.
Those who learn musar deeply, and are constantly studying their good and bad deeds and seeking improvement, have an idea of dealing with shame and humiliation. Once a person who worked hard to improve himself was on a boat sailing through the seas. He occupied a birth in the ship and looked up and saw a man standing above and treating him like a toilet. Afterwards, people were amazed to see that he emerged full of happiness, in fact, he was thrilled by what happened! People wanted an explanation and he said, that he studies Musar, and one of the great levels of Musar is to accept suffering from other people. The true level of musar is when one suffers greatly from a humiliation done by another person, even a vicious act, and he senses not hate, not bitterness, not sense of seeking revenge. When he realized he had fulfilled his Musar task, a lifelong ambition, he was thrilled and filled with happiness.

I don’t know if Adam and Eve studies Musar, but when they dealt regularly with G‑d who created them and sustained them, we can assume that they had a lot of Musar going for them.

Perfect Righteousness and Great Penitence

                                   
The gemora in Avoda Zora 4b and 5a teaches that the purpose of Creation was not to make perfect people, which obviously never happened, but to create people who sin and repent. True repentance is the purpose of Creation. That is proven when King David, who murdered a man and raped his wife, is honored to recite the Grace among the greatest saints in the Future World. Why did David merit this? Because the purpose of Creation was penitence, and immediately when the prophet rebuked David for his terrible sin, he devoted his life to penitence and to teaching others about penitence. Now obviously when a murderer hears about sin and punishment and mumbles, “I am sorry” we are not satisfied with his penitence, which much be really powerful and sincere, and may take years to achieve if ever. David did repent properly, and for his penitence, he merited the honor to lead the services among the greatest saints in the Future World.
If the purpose of life was not perfection but penitence, we can look into perhaps the oldest book of the Torah after the Prophets, the Book of Rabbi Eliezar ben Hurkenuse. Rabbo Eliezar was the student of  Rabbi Yochana ben Zackai, who lived at the time of the Destruction of the Temple, and saved the Torah in his meeting with the Roman conqueror, when he said, “Give me Yavneh and its sages.”
Rabbi Eliezar’s book contains many deep ideas. In the beginning of the book [in my volume it is page 6A] he writes that when G‑d decided to create the world He organized it and failed to sustain it. Because something was missing the world could not survive being created. Finally, G‑d created  penitence, teshuva, and the world found what it needed to exist properly. Thus, teshuva was not just a secondary element of Creation, but rather, without teshuva the world would simply collapse into nothing. The gemora in Avoda Zora 4b and 5a simply reinforce this with stories about the Israelites at Sinai who worshipped the Golden Calf and yet G‑d accepted their teshuva, and David who sinned with Bas Sheva and her husband, and remained a saint due to his teshuva.
Rabbi Eliezar adds there that seven things were created before the world could be created. The sixth thing was teshuva and the seventh thing was the Name of the Messiah. We don’t know how important the Name of Moshiach is or will be, but we have an idea from the above gemora in Avoda Zora how important teshuva is.
When Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, whereas they had very high souls, being created physically and spiritually by G‑d Himself, they realized that the purpose of life was penitence, and after their sin, they got right to work. Recall the passage says that “And he drove out the man” meaning according to the Book of Eliyohu “like a woman.” A man is married. Usually, a marriage begins happily, but down the road can come problems, and there can be a divorce. This divorce is a tragedy and the Altar in the Temple cries for it. The key is to rectify the problem, the divorce, which rends heaven and earth. Adam’s sin and being driven away had one purpose, to create the capacity in Adam to repent properly. He began that immediately by honoring his wife that she was the mother of all human life. She, who ruined his life by her dealing with the Snake in the Garden of Eden, was honored by Adam who suffered terribly from her. But he realized that now was not the time to blame people, that G‑d had given him one wife and would not create another one after he was expelled from the Garden. Therefore, Adam turned to Eve to make peace with her instead of the anger he may have felt for her dealing with the Snake and getting them both expelled from the Garden of Eden. By so doing, by accepting his wife’s errors and sins, Adam took a major step in penitence that restored him from the being driven from the Garden. And it is exactly in that discussion in the Book of Elijah, that begins with Adam’s “divorce like a woman” that concludes with the incredible statement that Derech Erets is greater than the Torah and is greater than the Tree of Life! Derech Erets teaches us to honor other people, and that is often quite a trick. Of course, when people are married and somebody does something terrible, forgiving is not easy. But Derech Erets requires us to honor others, even people who deserve something worse than honor.
Those who learn musar deeply, and are constantly studying their good and bad deeds and seeking improvement, have an idea of dealing with shame and humiliation. Once a person who worked hard to improve himself was on a boat sailing through the seas. He occupied a birth in the ship and looked up and saw a man standing above and treating him like a toilet. Afterwards, people were amazed to see that he emerged full of happiness, in fact, he was thrilled by what happened! People wanted an explanation and he said, that he studies Musar, and one of the great levels of Musar is to accept suffering from other people. The true level of musar is when one suffers greatly from a humiliation done by another person, even a vicious act, and he senses not hate, not bitterness, not sense of seeking revenge. When he realized he had fulfilled his Musar task, a lifelong ambition, he was thrilled and filled with happiness.
I don’t know if Adam and Eve studies Musar, but when they dealt regularly with G‑d who created them and sustained them, we can assume that they had a lot of Musar going for them.