Concept

Baal teshuva

Summary
In Judaism, a ba'al teshuvah (בעל תשובה; for a woman, בעלת תשובה, or ; plural, בעלי תשובה, , 'owner of return [to God or his way]') is a Jew who adopts some form of traditional religious observance after having previously followed a secular lifestyle or a less stringent form of Judaism. Originally, the term referred to a Jew who transgressed the halakhah (Jewish law) knowingly or unknowingly and completed a process of introspection to "return" to the full observance of God's mitzvot. According to the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, the Talmud says that a true ba'al teshuvah stands higher in shamayim (lit. 'heaven') than a "frum from birth", even higher than a tzadik: The sages said: "The place whereon the penitent stand the wholly righteous could not stand;" as if saying: "their degree is above the degree of those who ever did not sin, because it is more difficult for them to subdue their passion than for the others." In modern times, the phrase is primarily used to
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