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February 15, 2009

Comments

micha

When planning, the person's intent for how the future should look shapes his decision on how to act in the present. Purpose runs in the opposite direction as cause. Thus the difference between "ki" (because), seeking an answer earlier in time, and "lemaan" (for the sake of), where the answer is sought in the future.

I think this is what the navi meant by calling G-d the Rishon and the Acharon. He is First Cause and Final Purpose. All of history flows from His Creation, and to His Ultimate Desire.

As for teshuvah, I know it's often described in terms of changing the past, but... A central theme in the Torah reading for Rosh haShanah is that a person is judged "ba'asher hu sham" (how he is then and there). Not really for his actions in the past, nor for his potential in the future. Teshuvah is the focus on purpose to change the self as I exist now. Teshuvah from love has the ability to turn sin into merit because it turns the act's consequences from tarnishing my soul to regret and actual motivation not to repeat those mistakes. Thus, the current impact of the sin is positive. I do not think that verse is consistent with the idea of seeing teshuvah as reaching into the past and changing those events.

-micha

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