Baal Shem Tov TeachingsTeshuvah (Repentance)

Teachings of Rav Meir of Premishlan

The Delicate Clockwork of Teshuvah

It is a well-known custom for the kallah’s side to give a chassan a new watch as a wedding gift. Rav Meir of Premishlan once explained the reason for this gift: to hint that a chassan must do teshuvah. How does the watch allude to this?
A new watch, explained Rav Meir, runs perfectly. But over time watches break down, not because of any negligence on the part of the watch owner, but rather the delicateness of the timepiece causes it to stop running eventually. A watch is a complex piece of machinery with many small, intricate components, with all kinds of cogs and levers, that must work in unison. If just one spoke or cog gets slightly bent out of shape, the entire clockwork stops functioning. Then one must bring the watch to an expert watchmaker to fix it. And how does he fix it? He takes it apart, separating all the pieces, until he finds the one that caused the malfunction.
Similarly, man was created perfect and just. His body is an intricate machine, with many complex systems that work together in unison. If he sins, however, he bends something out of shape and that damages his entire being.
What must be done? He must repent with a broken heart, dissecting his actions and taking himself apart until he finds his flaw and rectifies it so that the entire mechanism functions properly once again.
Divrei Torah, Munkacz


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