Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Sacrifices of God

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart,
O God, Thou will not despise" (Psalms 51:19).
"A broken spirit" connotes a lowly and humble spirit, and "a broken heart" relates to the breaking of physical desire; for the heart is the repository of desire, as it is said,

"Thou has given him his heart's desire" (ibid. 21:3).

The fact that the statement, "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise" is found in the psalm of repentance teaches us that the penitent is rendered acceptable to God through the breaking of physical desire, and that this last-mentioned element is a principle of repentance. Is is further stated in relation to repentance.

"...... to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the
contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15).

source: XXXIII. First Gate / "The Gates of Repentance" Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona
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