Rav Dessler brings a mashal about the spiritual progress and development of a tzadik versus a baal t’shuvah. The tzadik advances in his service of Hashem bit by bit, like climbing the rungs of a ladder. The baal t’shuvah, on the other hand, is like a cripple who doesn’t have the arms and legs with which to climb. From his lowly place, watching the raging waters rise up from below, he cries out for help. At that point, Hashem comes and raises him up to great heights.

The baal t’shuvah cried out for assistance, and Hashem came to lift him up. It was Hashem who brought him to his current level; he couldn’t do it himself. The truth is, though, that the tzadik goes through the exact same process, too. As it says in Mishlei 24:16, “For a man is not righteous on earth that he does good and never sins” and in Koheles 7:20, “A tzadik falls seven times and rises…”

Even a tzadik will reach a point where he recognizes that he can’t go further, and he needs to pray to Hashem for Divine mercy. Hashem then raises him up to the next rung of the ladder.

The tzadik himself cannot move unless Hashem helps him to get there. The difference between the tzadik and the baal t’shuvah is that Hashem’s assistance is hidden by the fact that the tzadik is doing so much work.

This is the explanation of “In a place where a baal t’shuvah stands, even a perfect tzadik can’t stand.”

Hashem’s involvement and Divine mercy is much more revealed with the baal t’shuvah, than it is with the tzadik. But, at the end of the day, both of them really need assistance.

No matter where we are or how many times we fall, Hashem is our Father in Heaven. When we sincerely cry out to Him in search of Divine Mercy, He will turn to us, love us as His children, and help us to move forward.

(Material was previously published on ShiratMiriam.com.)


List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah (a complete recovery)

 Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.


Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Shimshon Shimon ben Mazal

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Yaakov Yisrael Pinchas ben Tovah

Yisachar Dov ben Chayah Brachah

Tinok ben Chanah

Azriel ShemTov ben Brachah Esther

Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel

Ronny Tzalach ben Simchah

Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel

Moshe ben Devorah

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Yosef ben Leah

Nisan ben Yael

Efrayim Gavriel ben Esther

Chaim Yehudah HaLevi ben Sarah

Refael Meir HaLevi ben Esther

Mordechai ben Evelyn

David Chaim ben Rivkah

Moshe Leib ben Chanah Breindel

Eynav ben Tziporah

Yair ben Sarah

Moshe ben Zlata

Yishai Shimon ben Sigal

Shmuel ben Nazima

Evon bas Sally

Luna bas Rachel

Malkah bas Miriam

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Ronit bas Rivkah

Mahnaz bas Nosrat

Sylia bas Rachel

Karen bas Rachel

Shoshanah Shurah bas Zina

Sonia bas Raya Rachel

Tinok bas Chanah Moriyah

Brachah Chanah bas Sarah

Devorah bas Esther

Batya bas Moonavar

Sarah bas Alizah

Chavah bas Bayla

Bella Berta bas Raya Rachel

Taliah Tanya bas Nina Nekadam

Raya Rachel bas Esther

Alizah Sima bas Sheina Brachah

Rivkah bas Sarah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.