In the Tanya, Iggeret HaTeshuva Perek 4, the Ba'al HaTanya writes that the statement "there is no teshuva for spilling seed" applies only to "lower teshuva" ("re-attaching the second hei to Hashem's name") but "upper teshuva" (attaching the first hei back to Hashem's name) still works...

What exactly does this mystical idea of "upper level teshuva" imply, and thus what is necessary to perform "upper level teshuva" for spilling seed?

  • I see the possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/62044/2246 but I feel that question doesn't adequately address this issue of upper level teshuva --how does that fit into the answer given there?
    – andrewmh20
    Sep 1, 2015 at 13:58
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    To do teshuva for any sin: regret having sinned, (pay back and ask forgiveness from anyone harmed,) orally confess to God, commit to not do it again. A deceptively simple process.
    – Double AA
    Sep 1, 2015 at 14:22
  • @DoubleAA that sounds great, but there seems to be a clear distinction between the 2 levels of teshuva...!
    – andrewmh20
    Sep 1, 2015 at 14:23
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    This is explained at length in the Tanya as a continuation to that statement. Just keep reading. I recommend Lessons in Tanya
    – Yishai
    Sep 1, 2015 at 14:57
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    @andrewmh20, maybe someone wants to attempt that, but any answer will just be a matter of cutting out all the explanatory material, most importantly understanding what the lower level of Teshuva is, which is a pre-requisite. But see the end of Chapter 8, which gives the basic definition (Teshuvah ila'ah means engaging in the study of the Torah, in awe and love of the Holy One, Blessed be He ...) and then in Chapter 9 explains what that has to do with the upper Hei.
    – Yishai
    Sep 1, 2015 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


This particular sin starts in the brain{soul}, therefore the best teshuvah for this sin is to cry, bc the tears emenate form the brain{soul}.

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    This does not really give a good answer. You should provide a source and explain it better. Jan 15, 2017 at 23:35

Kabalistically the Baal ha'Tanya seems to mean that if you have entered a type of existence where even your accomplishments are futile because they only serve to endear transient living to you then the only way out is through Torah study not through mitzva performance.

This is because Torah contains its own virility and is not bowed to distortion of life or perception.

I.e. the first heh relates to the name of Hashem with which the world was created, which can be accessed via the Name of God which is the Torah.

  • ""This is because Torah contains its own virility and is not bowed to distortion of life or perception"" It's very blurry, I feel that you understand something, but I can not understand. Even if it is very difficult, trying to show from witch study you comes to this conclusion.
    – kouty
    Mar 9, 2016 at 13:17

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