Can you explain exactly how to successfully complete the steps of Teshuva? I often find it difficult to figure out the exact practical things I should do in order to do a complete teshuva.

Is there any difference between the process throughout the year and during Elul (other than that during Elul our tefilos are more easily accepted)?

We all do chataim- so why don’t we see people always engaged in the real steps of teshuva on an ongoing basis?

Thanks for your time!

Answer:

Teshuvah is on the one hand simple, and on the other a long and arduous process.

It is simple on the one hand: One need only regret ones past misdeeds, confess them, and accept to avoid them in the future.

On the other, it is a long process. Do we really regret our misdeeds. Are our confessions wholehearted? Is the acceptance for the future sincere?

There is no difference between the process in Elul and throughout the year, but we focus on Teshuvah more in Elul, in preparation for the days of Rosh Hashanah, and in particular in the Ten Days of Repentance when the Sages teach that Hashem awaits our repentance.

Yet, the Shaarei Teshuva writes that a person should repent every day, checking his deeds and repenting for those that are wrong. Not many are able to live by this principle, but if you are, then it is surely a great and most worthy achievement.

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