Rabbi Levi said, “Great is repentance, for it reaches up to the Throne of Glory, as it is written, ‘Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God.'” Resh Lakish said, “Great is repentance, for by virtue of it one’s intentional sins are regarded as mere errors, as it is written [in Hosea 14:1], ‘Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God for you have stumbled (which is accidental) because of your iniquity (which is intentional)'” (b.Yoma 86a).

Hosea 14:2-10(1-9) is part of the haftarah reading for Shabbat Shuvah (Sabbath of Repentance), the Sabbath that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In this passage, the prophet Hosea makes one last desperate plea, beseeching Israel to repent and save themselves from the coming catastrophe. He says, “Return, O Israel!” The Hebrew word for “return” is the imperative shuvah (שובה), a word that also is translated as “repent.” Repentance is Hosea’s central message and the message of every prophet of God. Repentance is also the primary message of the Gospel. Most of Yeshua’s teachings were calls to repentance. Most of His parables were illustrations about repentance.

To repent means to turn around, quit sinning, and start doing good. More specifically, it is a call to quit breaking God’s commandments and return to His Torah. Repentance from evil deeds is one of the foundational, elementary teachings about the Messiah (Hebrews 6:1).

The Master brought a message of repentance, always teaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). He told men that if they did not repent, they would perish (Luke 13:3). He said that He came only to call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32), for “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

He told His disciples that repentance for the forgiveness of sins must be proclaimed in His name to all nations ( Luke 24:46-47) because “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). “They went out and preached that men should repent” (Mark 6:12). They went out, “solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Yeshua the Messiah” (Acts 20:21), “even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20). Because of this, “God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18), and “repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25), for He does not wish “for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

“The kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4), “a repentance without regret, leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10). “Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). “Repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). “Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). “Repent and do the [good] deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5). “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent” (Revelation 3:3).

Ha’azinu / Shabbat Shuvahשבת שובה / האזינו
“Give ear / Sabbath of Repentance”
Torah : Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Haftarah : 2 Samuel 22:1-22:51
Shabbat Shuvah : Hosea 14:2(1)-10(9); Joel 2:11-3:5(2:32); Micah 7:18-20
Gospel : Acts 24-26

Special Excerpt from Torah Club Volume Three: Voice of the Prophets

Source: Torah Portion