cha•desh ya•mey•nu ke•ke•dem is a Biblical idiom that expresses a yearning to return to what we were a long time ago. It reflect a human desire to restore the past, to go back to what now, in retrospect, we view as ‘the good days.’
Who can look at his/her youth with no yearning? But we do have two conflicting desires with us all the time, one is preserving the past and the other, is to grow, progress and move forward. We reconcile these two contradicting desires by dwelling on a new desire: ‘renewing the past.’ We want the benefits of what we gained with time coupled with the advantages of being younger. Even if we rationally know the exact probability of such thing, we still believe and won’t forgo this desire.
Surprisingly or not, it is possible and viable spiritually. It is possible by repentance and by its reward – salvation. When we repent we are taken back in accountability, being again pure and innocent before God by His forgiveness, yet we still remain forward in terms of time and growth.
A few months ago we spoke about repentance. Repentance in Hebrew is te•shu•va, ‘returning’ or ‘going back.’ The repentance concept appears in the words of many prophets.
We see God’s willingness to forgive the sinners in return for complete repentance:
‘But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord God; and not that he should return from his ways, and live?’
For today’s idiom we see that once again the connection between repentance and the desire to renew our days:
‘Turn us to you, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.’