One of the most important aspects of TShuvah is that it restores the dignity that each person is born with. We all have infinite dignity and worth. We all have a unique purpose and dignity as well. When we harm another, we betray the dignity and worth that they possess and our own dignity and worth also. Since each of us is created in the Image of God, harming another means that we are not seeing their Tzelem, their Divine Image.
TShuvah restores this dignity to all entities. It is more than saying “I’m sorry.” It is the way of saying “I have hurt you, I made you an object and denied your Infinite Worth and Dignity. This is my admission of this crime and here is how I am going to restore it and make sure I don’t do this again.”
Without this admission, we can’t restore our own dignity and remember our own worth. TShuvah is the statement and reminder to another of “you matter” and it is a reminder that “I matter” as well. Today, I am using the second word of the Ashamnu Prayer to ask: 1)How have I/we missed the mark by betraying our Divine Image?
2) How have we missed the mark by betraying the Divine Image of another?
3) How have we missed the mark by betraying our principles?
4) List any other betrayals we have committed.
Then, to make sure we see the whole picture:
1) How have I stayed Loyal to and honored my Divine Image?
2) How have I stayed loyal to and honored the Divine Image of others?
3) How have I stayed loyal to and honored my principles?
4) What other ways have I stayed loyal and honorable?