לרפואת הרב בנימין יהודה בן רחל בתוך שח"י
The idea of teshuva, that is ALWAYS within a person, is the foundation of all positive qualities. This is a critical point. Teshuva is not something "out there" that one has to reach. It is in the very nature of a person's soul to desire "return" to Hashem. To do teshuva is to look inwards.
The sadness and melancholy that often accompanies teshuva is really the source of great joy!! Teshuva is appreciating the greatness of G-d. When one is cognizant of this, he realizes that his sins are readily visible and apparent to Hashem, in all of their evil and destructive results. As the pasuk says [Tehillim 90-8] שתה עונותינו לנגדך עלמנו למאור פניך - You place our sins before you, our hidden ones to the light of your face. You are aware of everything. That can be QUITE a "downer" - to say the least.
But once we realize that this awareness of sin comes from the shining of Divine light on the neshama, a person is filled with TREMENDOUS joy and empowerment, and this celestial feeling of joy increases togther with the low feeling of one's nefesh. Note: The neshama, the higher more spiritual part of man rejoices, while the lower part of man, the nefesh, feels remorse and regret.
At this point man is REDEEMED. He has been freed from all external forces of evil that previously ruled over him. To do teshuva is to extricate oneself from the bonds of bad habits, destructive thoughts, harmful behaviors etc. etc. and basking in the Light Of Hashem.
Is there anything better than THAT??
Now we have insight into the pasuk והוא יפדה את ישראל מכל עוונותיו- Hashem REDEEMS man from all of his sins. What does this MEAN? Is man in captivity? No!! He is "living it up". He is enjoying life. Women, food, parties etc, etc, A mechaye!!!
The truth is that there is NO GREATER bondage than one who is in the firm grasp of his lower, base desires. Redemption is to break free and allow himself to return to his soul and it's Divine source. At that time the Light of Hashem shines on him.
That also explains why in Shmoneh Esrei, after the bracha of teshuva and סלח לנו - Forgiveness from sin, we then say the bracha of redemption - גאל ישראל.
[שמונה קבצים ח' רל"ד]