I heard when Mashiach comes we will be indefinitely doing teshuvah forever.

From another place I heard that when Mashiach comes teshuvah will be closed and no more teshuvah will be possible (I believe the intent was that non-Jews won't be able to convert after that time).

So which is it? Will teshuvah be possible after Mashiach comes or not?

  • The standard approach is the second one you mentioned.
    – N.T.
    Feb 6 at 7:01
  • Rabbi David Gottleib said in a shiur (I was there in person so no link) that in Olam Haba, there is some sort of growth. I mean, teshuva means getting closer, so it might be that the practicals of teshuva are very different, but there will still continue to be a trajectory of closeness to Hashem
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 6 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


Bear in mind that there are different types of teshuvah. There is "teshuvah of love" vs. "of fear" vs. "brought about by suffering" (Yoma 86a); there is "higher teshuvah" vs. "lower teshuvah" (Zohar 3:122b and in various later works); etc. So what applies to one may not apply to another.

The Baal Hatanya summarizes (Likkutei Torah, Shemini Atzeres 92b):

שמשה רבינו ע״ה קודם מותו זכה לבחי׳ תשובה ומעלת המשיח הוא לאתבא צדיקייא בתיובתא דהיינו שתהי׳ מעלת ומדריגת התשובה מתגלה בצדיקים גמורים שזה תלוי בביאת משיח דוקא... כי כללות ישראל צריכים לחזור בתשובה קודם ביאת המשיח וביאת המשיח תלוי בזה כמארז״ל אם ישראל עושים תשובה נגאלין כו׳. אבל צדיקים שיזכו למעלת התשובה יהי׳ אחר ביאת המשיח דוקא:

Moshe Rabbeinu o.b.m., before his passing, merited the aspect of teshuvah. Moshiach will have the quality of "returning tzaddikim in teshuvah" (Zohar 3:153b), meaning that the greatness and the level of teshuvah will be revealed within the perfect tzaddikim. This depends on Moshiach specifically... The Jewish people in general must return in teshuvah before Moshiach comes, and indeed his coming depends on that, as Chazal say (Sanhedrin 97b), "If the Jewish people do teshuvah, they will be redeemed..." By contrast, tzaddikim who will merit the quality of teshuvah will do so specifically only after Moshiach comes.

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