I'm reading the Artscroll biography Reb Elyah. It mentions that he completed a six year Teshuva process known as Hakanah, which includes almost constant fasting and other acts out of love for Hashem, as well as a year long Taanis Dibbur, a fast from speech. I want to know if there are any more details I can find about Hakanah, as well as the sources behind it.

  • Gonna assume it’s a kabbalistic-Hasidic doctrine where six years are representative of the six secular days of the week where one toils [on themself] in order to attain spiritual purity (rest/completion) on the seventh day (Shabbat).
    – Oliver
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


This is the teshuvah process described in Sefer HaKanah (of uncertain authorship) in the section entitled Teshuvat Adam HaRishon uTeshuvat haKanah:

הרוצה לשוב בתשובה יתייאש מן העולם ולא ישא ויתן בשום עסק של זה העולם ויחשוב בלבו כי כל שעה יביאנו המלך אצלו לקחת חשבון מעוונותיו ולא יאכל בשר ולא שום דבר אשר נשמה בו ולא ישתה יין וישב בתענית ויעסוק בתורה יומם ולילה ויעשה מלחמה עם השינה שלא יאנוס אותו לישן כל הלילה וימשוך כל מחשבתו אל הש"י ויתחרט על מה שעשה ואם תבוא עבירה לידו ידיחנה וירחיקנה ממנו ועיקר אכילתו פת במשקל די חיותו וירחיק עצמו מחברת העולם ומבשר ומיין ומכל בעלי חי ומדברים היוצאים מכל בעלי חי ומכל מיני ירק ועשב זה יעשה ארבעים יום ומשם ואילך הקב"ה יעזרהו וילך עד ששה שנים ואז לא יסתפק בשום ספק שהוא בן עולם הבא אף כי יאכל וישתה אחר הששה שנים כי כבר עברו ששה שנים כנגד שיתא אלפי שני הוי עלמא וחד חרוב ובלבד שיהא זהיר מעבירות הבאים לידו דע בני שזהו תשובה אמיתית

One who wishes to repent should renounce this world and not engage in any of the business of this world. He should think that at any time the King may come to him to take account of his sins. He should not eat meat nor any other living creature, and he should not drink wine. He should fast and engage in Torah day and night, and fight off sleep so that he is not forced into sleeping the entire night. He should direct all his thoughts towards G-d, and regret what he has done in the past. If the opportunity to sin comes his way, he should push it away and distance it from himself.

He should eat mainly a measured amount of bread, sufficient to sustain himself, and distance himself from society, and from meat and wine, and from all animals and animal products, and from all vegetables and herbs.

He should do this for forty days, and henceforth G-d will help him to continue for six years. After that time, he should be in no doubt that he is fit for the World to Come, even if he eats and drinks after the six years (for six years have already passed, corresponding to the six thousand years of this world, before the one thousand during which it is desolate) as long as he is careful from sins that come his way.

Know, my son, that this is true repentance.

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