You said before that every act lasts forever and that this includes aveiros. So what happens to the aveirah after a person does teshuvah?
Even an aveirah lasts forever. It’s forever and ever because you cannot erase the memory of Hashem. Teshuvah helps however. In the books he is credited with teshuvah. The debit he has on this side is balanced out by his teshuvah.
But Hashem will never forget. Because you see in the Torah, Nevi’im and Kesuvim that the sins are recorded; and although some did teshuvah for those sins, they’re recorded forever and ever. You’ll never erase it from Hashem’s memory. And in Olam Haboh you’ll see all the sins that were done, even the sins of those who did teshuvah for their aveiros. No question about it. Only that you’ll see the teshuvah too. Every sin will have a star alongside it, a star that tells you to look at the footnote. And the footnote says “Subsequently he did teshuvah.” But it’s there. You cannot hide the sin. It will be there for everybody to see.
Dovid Hamelech said, “Please Hashem, erase from the Tanach the story of Bas-sheva. Erase it please.” But Hashem didn’t do it. Dovid begged that Hashem should erase it but Hashem didn’t do it. Because once a thing becomes history, it’s part of Hashem’s memory and it’s forever.
But doesn’t it say that teshuvah mei’ahavah makes an aveirah into a mitzvah?
As I said, when a person does teshuvah, when he repents, the sin is not erased. Only he’s credited now with something that outweighs the sin. In some cases it was so difficult to do teshuvah because he had to fight against his old habits and he became a big tzaddik, so because of that fight he gets more merit and it very much outweighs the aveirah. When man in the World To Come will see a picture of his former sins but the picture has also a legend underneath it that says, “This man overcame his propensities and he did full teshuva,” then that picture becomes a commendation for him; it becomes a praise for him. That’s זדונות נעשים לו כזכויות – his sins become like merits because the fact that he was misgaber al yitzro, he overcame his inclination and he changed himself, that becomes a credit for him.
But that fact of history, that aveirah you did, remains. As I told you, Dovid asked that the story of Bas-sheva should be erased from the Tanach but it was never erased.
TAPE #721 (January 1989)