This idea is foreign to Judaism. As Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi writes in his book "Likkutei Amarim" (also known as "Tanya"), every Jewish person has inside of them a Godly soul, literally a spark of God. And although sometimes a person makes bad choices and wrong decisions, and they feel as if their life is very removed from holiness, all the while that Godly spark is there, waiting for the time it can shine openly.
Teshuva is not a process performed in spite of ourselves. It is the way a person reveals who they always were. There is no such thing as a hypocrite. Even at our lowest, we have inside of us the potential to shake off those things that are holding us back, and "Return" to ourselves...Return to God.
Rosh Hashanah is only six days away. Starting at midnight after Shabbat (Saturday night) and continuing in the early mornings through Wednesday, Jewish communities around the world will recite Selichos, the special prayers that remind us that the High Holidays are fast approaching.
As the Mishnah says, "On Rosh Hashanah all the inhabitants on earth pass before God like sheep". In the upcoming days, we must do our part to actively show God that we want Him in our life, and then God will do his part, and come into our lives and bless us in the coming year.
Although Chabad of Southern Mississippi will not be holding High Holiday services this year, we invite everyone to our class, this Sunday at 1:00 entitled, “The High Holidays: A Spiritual Journey”. We hope to see you there. We also have many exciting programs planned for Sukkot. Details will follow shorty.
May you and your families be inscribed and sealed for a good, sweet year.
Rabbi Akiva Hall