A young man speaks with his rabbi. Rabbi, I’m depressed because I have made so many mistakes and committed so many sins. I feel very far from God.
After hearing this, the rabbi shows the man two identical pieces of rope. The rabbi starts cutting the first rope. When we make a mistake, we do shorten the distance between ourselves and God. Like you, I’ve also made many mistakes.
The man says, But you’re the rabbi! Surely you are close to God!
At this point, the rabbi takes the cut pieces of rope and ties them together. He places the two ropes next to each other and says, When we do t’shuvah, we repair the damage we did. Son, look at these two ropes. The one that was cut is now shorter. This is how t’shuvah works. When we successfully perform acts of t’shuvah, we shorten the distance between ourselves and God.