The lightness of youth
What the Rav said:
A person needs to go back their youth, to the longing and yearning of childhood.
Because, until the age of 20, they give a person from above, great awakening, strength, enthusiasm and longing.
All a person’s transgressions are covered with love, despite all the sins of his previous lifetimes.
This is also the case for the ba’al teshuva (a newly observant person).
Afterwards, they start taking this from a person.
And then, a person needs great personal strength to return to this state.
This is an interesting idea which the Rav reveals to us.
The energy and enthusiasm of our ‘teens’ doesn’t just come from the fact that we’re young and energetic at that point in life. It actually comes from a heavenly decree that a person sins are not held against him below the age of 20 (I forget the source for this, if you know please add to comments section).
The lightness of youth comes therefore from the fact that, under twenty, a person doesn’t have the heaviness of din (judgment) over his head and doesn’t face many of the unpleasant consequences.
That’s not the case after 20 years old, when a person is held fully accountable.
Rabbenu said the weight of our sins is the most difficult thing for us to bear.
The Rav is telling us we need to ‘return to our youth’ to experience that same lightness, energy and enthusiasm.
If you have any thoughts on how we do that – I’d like to hear them! Please post in the comments section.