Rabbi Ari Kahn
Parshiot Nitzavim Vayelech
Parashat Nitzavim is always read in close proximity to Rosh Hashana. This choice of reading is not coincidental; rather, the division of the parshiot is carefully constructed to ensure that certain messages are conveyed at specific junctures of the calendar.
During this season teshuva ("return to God") is in the air; personal and collective introspection are the order of the day. In this context, it is evident why this Torah, Nitzavim, is the chosen message.
The term "return" (teshuvah) and its Hebrew root (shav) are utilized in numerous verses:
דברים פרק ל, א-י
(א) וְהָיָה֩ כִֽי־יָבֹ֨אוּ עָלֶ֜יךָ כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה הַבְּרָכָה֙ וְהַקְּלָלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ֙ אֶל־לְבָבֶ֔ךָ בְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֧ר הִדִּיחֲךָ֛ ה֥' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה: (ב) וְשַׁבְתָּ֞ עַד־ה֤' אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֣ בְקֹל֔וֹ כְּכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם אַתָּ֣ה וּבָנֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ: (ג) וְשָׁ֨ב ה֧' אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ אֶת־שְׁבוּתְךָ֖ וְרִחֲמֶ֑ךָ וְשָׁ֗ב וְקִבֶּצְךָ֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֧ר הֱפִֽיצְךָ֛ ה֥' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה: (ד) אִם־יִהְיֶ֥ה נִֽדַּחֲךָ֖ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם מִשָּׁ֗ם יְקַבֶּצְךָ֙ ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וּמִשָּׁ֖ם יִקָּחֶֽךָ: (ה) וֶהֱבִֽיאֲךָ֞ ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יָרְשׁ֥וּ אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֑הּ וְהֵיטִֽבְךָ֥ וְהִרְבְּךָ֖ מֵאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ: (ו) וּמָ֨ל ה֧' אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ אֶת־לְבָבְךָ֖ וְאֶת־לְבַ֣ב זַרְעֶ֑ךָ לְאַהֲבָ֞ה אֶת־ה֧' אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ לְמַ֥עַן חַיֶּֽיךָ: (ז) וְנָתַן֙ ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ אֵ֥ת כָּל־הָאָל֖וֹת הָאֵ֑לֶּה עַל־אֹיְבֶ֥יךָ וְעַל־שֹׂנְאֶ֖יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר רְדָפֽוּךָ: (ח) וְאַתָּ֣ה תָשׁ֔וּב וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֖ בְּק֣וֹל ה֑' וְעָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֹתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם: (ט) וְהוֹתִֽירְךָ֩ ה֨' אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ בְּכֹ֣ל׀ מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָדֶ֗ךָ בִּפְרִ֨י בִטְנְךָ֜ וּבִפְרִ֧י בְהֶמְתְּךָ֛ וּבִפְרִ֥י אַדְמָתְךָ֖ לְטֹבָ֑ה כִּ֣י׀ יָשׁ֣וּב ה֗' לָשׂ֤וּשׂ עָלֶ֙יךָ֙ לְט֔וֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׂ֖שׂ עַל־ אֲבֹתֶֽיךָ: (י) כִּ֣י תִשְׁמַ֗ע בְּקוֹל֙ ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֤ר מִצְוֹתָיו֙ וְחֻקֹּתָ֔יו הַכְּתוּבָ֕ה בְּסֵ֥פֶר הַתּוֹרָ֖ה הַזֶּ֑ה כִּ֤י תָשׁוּב֙ אֶל־ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ: פ
And it shall come to pass, when all these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall return to your heart [while in exile] among all the nations, where the Lord your God has driven you. And you shall return unto the Lord your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul. Then the Lord your God will [re]turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, where the Lord your God has scattered you...And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live. ... And you shall return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command you this day. And the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your land, for good; for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers. If you shall listen to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the Torah, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul. (Devarim 30:1-10)
The repetition of the term "return" is a peculiarity which has served as a challenge for the classical commentators, who sought to explain the various "returns" -- both on the part of man and the part of God.
TOTALITY OF HISTORY
One solution offered is that the text refers to the totality of history; it includes various exiles, from the Ten Tribes and takes us to the eschatological ingathering and the end of days.
The Hebrew words shav and teshuva have often been translated as "repentance," yet the Hebrew word teshuva is both more powerful and simpler.
"Repentance" is derived from the word "penance," which primarily means "remorse." The feeling of remorse may be private, personal, even egocentric, describing the feelings of an individual who knows that he has failed himself, and perhaps his family or society. When a person feels remorse and utilizes these feelings to spur action or at least a resolution to redouble his or her efforts and not return to one’s erroneous ways, we call this process "rehabilitation."
The only thing lacking with the process we have described is God. The Jewish concept of return is a return to God. It is a theocentric phenomenon, which serves, in most cases, to heal an egocentric perspective. The defining verse is found in this week's Torah portion and was cited above:
וְשַׁבְתָּ֞ עַד־ה֤' אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙
"And you shall return to the Lord your God."
Teshuva is a gesture which returns man to his pure state, by virtue of connecting him with God. This idea lies behind the insistence of the rabbis that teshuva possesses a metaphysical element. Teshuva, they say, is not part of this world; it predates creation:
בראשית רבה (וילנא) פרשת בראשית פרשה א
בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, שִׁשָּׁה דְבָרִים קָדְמוּ לִבְרִיאַת הָעוֹלָם, יֵשׁ מֵהֶן שֶׁנִּבְרְאוּ, וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶן שֶׁעָלוּ בַּמַּחֲשָׁבָה לְהִבָּרְאוֹת... רַבִּי אַהֲבָה בְּרַבִּי זְעִירָא אָמַר אַף הַתְּשׁוּבָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים צ, ב): בְּטֶרֶם הָרִים יֻלָּדוּ, וְאוֹתָהּ הַשָּׁעָה תָּשֵׁב אֱנוֹשׁ עַד דַּכָּא וגו',
Six things preceded the creation of the world; some of them were actually created, while the creation of the others was already contemplated ... Rabbi Ahabah ben Rabbi Ze'ira said: "Repentance too, as it is written, Before the mountains were brought forth, and from that very moment, You turn man to contrition and say: Return, children of men." (Midrash Rabbah - Bereishit 1:4)
זוהר כרך א (בראשית) פרשת תולדות בדף קלד עמוד ב
כַּד בָּעָא לְמִבְרֵי אָדָם אָמְרָה תּוֹרָה קַמֵּיהּ, אִי בַּר נָשׁ יִתְבְּרֵי, וּלְבָתַר יֶחטֵי וְאַנְתְּ תִּידוּן לֵיהּ, אַמַּאי יְהוֹן עוֹבָדֵי יְדָךְ לְמַגָּנָא, דְּהָא לָא יֵיכוּל לְמִסְבַּל דִּינָךְ. אָמַר לֵיהּ קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, הָא אַתְקִינַת תְּשׁוּבָה עַד לָא בָרָאתִי עַלְמָא,
When God was about to create man, the Torah remonstrated, saying: "Should man be created and then sin and be brought to trial before You, the work of Your hand will be in vain, for he will not be able to endure Your judgment." Whereto God replied: "I had already fashioned teshuva before creating the world." (Zohar Bereishit 134b)
Prior to the creation of the world, God created an idea called teshuva -- a process that brings man in touch with God, the definitive metaphysical being. Thus, an idea which eluded many great philosophers becomes clear.
Certain philosophers cast aspersions on the idea that remorse could uproot past transgressions. If existence were exclusively physical, the objection would be appropriate. However, Judaism insists that there is a metaphysical reality called God, who created and sustains the universe.
Additionally, God created a procedure which allows man to relate directly to Him. As God transcends time, so can man's relationship with God transcend time, rendering yesterday's failures a blot in a black hole of time, irrelevant to one's current relationship with God, which is itself transcendent. This is the power of teshuva.
This metaphysical relationship may explain several other teachings in this week's Torah portion, and help explain the dynamics of the future redemption. Parshat Nitzavim begins with a covenant drawn between man and God:
דברים פרק כט, ט-טו
(ט) אַתֶּ֨ם נִצָּבִ֤ים הַיּוֹם֙ כֻּלְּכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י ה֣' אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֑ם רָאשֵׁיכֶ֣ם שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֗ם זִקְנֵיכֶם֙ וְשֹׁ֣טְרֵיכֶ֔ם כֹּ֖ל אִ֥ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל: (י) טַפְּכֶ֣ם נְשֵׁיכֶ֔ם וְגֵ֣רְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּקֶ֣רֶב מַחֲנֶ֑יךָ מֵחֹטֵ֣ב עֵצֶ֔יךָ עַ֖ד שֹׁאֵ֥ב מֵימֶֽיךָ: (יא) לְעָבְרְךָ֗ בִּבְרִ֛ית ה֥' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ וּבְאָלָת֑וֹ אֲשֶׁר֙ ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כֹּרֵ֥ת עִמְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם: (יב) לְמַ֣עַן הָקִֽים־אֹתְךָ֩ הַיּ֨וֹם׀ ל֜וֹ לְעָ֗ם וְה֤וּא יִֽהְיֶה־לְּךָ֙ לֵֽאלֹהִ֔ים כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּר־לָ֑ךְ וְכַאֲשֶׁ֤ר נִשְׁבַּע֙ לַאֲבֹתֶ֔יךָ לְאַבְרָהָ֥ם לְיִצְחָ֖ק וּֽלְיַעֲקֹֽב: (יג) וְלֹ֥א אִתְּכֶ֖ם לְבַדְּכֶ֑ם אָנֹכִ֗י כֹּרֵת֙ אֶת־הַבְּרִ֣ית הַזֹּ֔את וְאֶת־הָאָלָ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת: (יד) כִּי֩ אֶת־אֲשֶׁ֨ר יֶשְׁנ֜וֹ פֹּ֗ה עִמָּ֙נוּ֙ עֹמֵ֣ד הַיּ֔וֹם לִפְנֵ֖י ה֣' אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וְאֵ֨ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵינֶ֛נּוּ פֹּ֖ה עִמָּ֥נוּ הַיּֽוֹם:
You stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel... That you should enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into his oath, which the Lord your God makes with you this day. That he may establish you today for a People to himself, and that he may be to you a God, as he has said to you, and as he has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And not with you alone will I make this covenant and this oath. But with him who stands here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him who is not here with us this day. (Devarim 29:9-14)
The idea of a covenant "with those not here" is of particular interest. The various commentators explain that this refers to future generations still unborn. They, too, must live up to their side of the covenant or suffer expulsion. In that event, the Torah speaks of the eventual return of man to God.
דברים פרק ל, ב
וְשַׁבְתָּ֞ עַד־ה֤' אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֣ בְקֹל֔וֹ כְּכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם אַתָּ֣ה וּבָנֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ:
And [you] shall return to the Lord your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul. (Devarim 30:2)
The idea of "both you and your children" returning to God seems strange. Either you or a subsequent generation will need to return, why both? In a terse, enigmatic statement the Ramban says that a great mystical secret centers around the teaching that the Son of David cannot come until all the souls are completed. His source is a passage found in numerous places in the Talmud:
תלמוד בבלי מסכת יבמות דף סב עמוד א
דְּאָמַר רַב אַסִי: אֵין בֶּן־דָּוִד בָּא עַד שֶׁיִּכְלוּ כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת שֶׁבַּגּוּף, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: (ישעיה נז) "כִּי רוּחַ מִלְּפָנַי יַעֲטוֹף וּנְשָׁמוֹת אֲנִי עָשִׂיתִי".
Rabbi Assi stated: "The Son of David will not come before all the souls are completed; since it is said, For the spirit that wraps itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made. (Yevamot 63b)
The ultimate return will take place when all souls reach completion. These souls represent both past and future generations, all of which are part and parcel of the metaphysical nature of the Jews' relationship with God.
Rav Eliyahu Dessler explained this concept by citing a mystical teaching that in the generations prior to the arrival of the Messiah, there are precious few "new" souls, the majority being "used," incomplete souls who have returned in order to complete their task.
Other mystics have attempted to "explain" calamities by stating that prior to redemption all souls need to be elevated. The generation of people who died in the desert, despite seeing the work of God with greater clarity than any other generation, failed to sanctify God's name. Therefore, they needed to return, and die sanctifying God's name.
However, it is also taught in this week's Torah portion, that there are many things that defy explanation:
דברים פרק כט, כח
הַ֨נִּסְתָּרֹ֔ת לַה֖' אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ וְהַנִּגְלֹ֞ת לָ֤נוּ וּלְבָנֵ֙ינוּ֙ עַד־עוֹלָ֔ם לַעֲשׂ֕וֹת אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת:
The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this Torah. (Devarim 29:28)
Rav Yehonatan Eybeschutz combines these teachings when he explains the significance of the verse:
דברים פרק ל, ג
וְשָׁ֨ב ה֧' אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ אֶת־שְׁבוּתְךָ֖ וְרִחֲמֶ֑ךָ וְשָׁ֗ב וְקִבֶּצְךָ֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֧ר הֱפִֽיצְךָ֛ ה֥' אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה:
That then the Lord your God will [re]turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, where the Lord your God has scattered you. (Devarim 30:3)
Rav Yehonatan Eybeschutz writes:
ספר תפארת יהונתן על דברים פרק ל פסוק ג
זהו הענין חבלו של משיח שיהיה סמוך לגאולה עד שרבים מחכמי ישראל אמרו יתי ולא אחמיני' והטעם כי השכינה עמנו בגלות אם על הבנים רטושה לשמרנו ולעת הגאולה לא ישוב השכינה אתנו בפעם אחת רק השכינה ישוב מקדם לא"י ואח"כ נשוב אנחנו לשם כי צריך הרבה דברים קודם לקיבוץ גליות ואי אפשר אם לא השכינה במקומו וא"כ כשאנו בגולה וה' אין בקרבנו יהיה עלינו צרו' מצוקות כי אין כאן מגין וזהו מאמר הקרא ושב כי מתחילה ישוב ה' לא"י ואח"כ וקבצך ולא יהיה בפעם א':
This refers to the birth pangs of the Messiah which will be in close proximity to the redemption, [which are so severe] that many sages said "Let him [The Messiah] come, but let me not see him" (Sanhedrin 98b). The reason is that the Shechina is with us in exile (Megila 29a) taking care of us like a mother cares for a child. At the time of the redemption the Shechina will not return together with us at one time; rather, first the Shechina will return to the Land of Israel, and then we shall return. For many things must take place in order for the ingathering of the exiles to take place, and this is impossible without the Shechina in its proper place. Therefore, when we remain in exile and God is not in our midst, we will have the most severe horrors, for we will be without a protector. Therefore, the verse teaches that first God will return, and only then will He have compassion and gather you from all the nations, where the Lord your God has scattered you. (Tiferet Yehonatan 30:3)
This is reminiscent of the idea of the "hiding of God's face" which is also described in this week's Torah portion:
דברים פרק לא, יז-יח
(יז) וְחָרָ֣ה אַפִּ֣י ב֣וֹ בַיּוֹם־הַ֠הוּא וַעֲזַבְתִּ֞ים וְהִסְתַּרְתִּ֨י פָנַ֤י מֵהֶם֙ וְהָיָ֣ה לֶֽאֱכֹ֔ל וּמְצָאֻ֛הוּ רָע֥וֹת רַבּ֖וֹת וְצָר֑וֹת וְאָמַר֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא הֲלֹ֗א עַ֣ל כִּֽי־אֵ֤ין אֱלֹהַי֙ בְּקִרְבִּ֔י מְצָא֖וּנִי הָרָע֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה: (יח) וְאָנֹכִ֗י הַסְתֵּ֨ר אַסְתִּ֤יר פָּנַי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עַ֥ל כָּל־הָרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה כִּ֣י פָנָ֔ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֲחֵרִֽים:
Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day... (Devarim 31:17-18)
According to Rav Yehonatan this is part of the process of redemption.
RETURN TO ISRAEL
Rav Yehonatan then goes on to explain the “deeper” purpose of the return to Israel. The verse states:
דברים פרק ל, ה
וֶהֱבִֽיאֲךָ֞ ה֣' אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יָרְשׁ֥וּ אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֑הּ וְהֵיטִֽבְךָ֥ וְהִרְבְּךָ֖ מֵאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ:
And the Lord your God will bring you into the land your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it, and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. (Deut. 30:5)
Rav Yehonatan explains that the return to Israel is an opportunity for rectification. The failure of the people took place in the Land of Israel while the Shechina was in their midst. One of the principles of teshuva is not repeating the same transgression in the same situation as before:
תלמוד בבלי מסכת יומא דף פו עמוד ב
הֵיכִי דָּמִי בַּעַל תְּשׁוּבָה? אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה: כְּגוֹן, שֶׁבָּא דְּבַר עֲבֵרָה לְיָדוֹ, פַּעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה וְנִצַּל הֵימֶנָּה. מַחְוִי רַב יְהוּדָה: בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם, וּבְאוֹתָהּ אִשָּׁה, וּבְאוֹתוֹ פֶּרֶק.
How is one proved a repentant sinner? Rav Yehuda said: "If the object which caused his original transgression comes before him on two occasions, and he keeps away from it." Rav Yehuda indicated: "In the same place, with the same woman, at the same time (stage of life)." (Yoma 86b)
According to this approach, the ingathering of the exiles is the re-creation of a situation where the Jews may heal the spiritual damage caused by their ancestors years ago.
Significantly, this was the context where the Ramban mentioned the mystical idea of souls reaching completion. Future generations are bidden to follow the covenant forged with a previous generation and to complete the mission of the previous generation as they heal the damage which was unleashed by virtue of sins committed in antiquity. If the Temple was destroyed due to hatred, the generation brought back to the Land of Israel must rise above the petty jealousy and hatred, and repair the souls tainted in previous generations.
Rambam writes that at the end of days the Jews will do teshuva and return to God. He adds that all the prophets commanded Israel regarding teshuva, and the Torah has already guaranteed that the people will come back to God. His proof is drawn from the verses we have already examined from this week's Torah portion. Rambam also cites these verses when describing the task of the Messiah.
According to Rambam, for a Jew not to believe in the collective teshuva of the Jewish people, he must reject the promise of the Torah, and the belief in the Messiah. Rabbi Soloveitchik added that the naysayer also rejects the Jewish People, and has lost belief in them as well.
IN OUR DAYS
In our days, these teachings are all the more poignant and powerful. This past century has seen horrific events, and we pray that those were the worst of the birth-pangs which the sages foresaw and prayed to be spared. We have lived to see an ingathering of the exiles, and we are aware that our communal and personal life in Israel is an incredible opportunity to mend the damage of previous generations. We must never lose faith in the Torah which promised the return, nor faith in the people of Israel who will perform the complete return to God.
For just as we are imbued with a metaphysical soul which allows us to relate to God as individuals, the collective community, too, has an incredible spiritual capacity which is far more powerful than the sum of all its individual parts. Likewise, just as the individual can perform an act of transcendence by doing teshuva, so can the entire community. The Torah has already promised that this will happen, it is just a question of time.
דברים פרק ל, ח-ט
(ח) וְאַתָּ֣ה תָשׁ֔וּב וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֖ בְּק֣וֹל ה֑' וְעָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֹתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם: (ט) וְהוֹתִֽירְךָ֩ ה֨' אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ בְּכֹ֣ל׀ מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָדֶ֗ךָ בִּפְרִ֨י בִטְנְךָ֜ וּבִפְרִ֧י בְהֶמְתְּךָ֛ וּבִפְרִ֥י אַדְמָתְךָ֖ לְטֹבָ֑ה כִּ֣י׀ יָשׁ֣וּב ה֗' לָשׂ֤וּשׂ עָלֶ֙יךָ֙ לְט֔וֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר־שָׂ֖שׂ עַל־ אֲבֹתֶֽיךָ:
And you shall return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command you this day. And the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your land, for good; for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers. (Deut. 30:8-9)
 A similar teaching is found in the Zohar Vayikra 34b
 The same idea is taught in Zohar, Vayikra, Page 70a
 Ramban Devarim 30:2
רמב"ן דברים פרק ל:ב
ולפי דעתי יש בו סוד גדול, כי ירמוז למה שאמרו (יבמות סג ב) אין בן דוד בא עד שיכלו כל הנשמות שבגוף, וכבר דברתי בו:
 This idea is explored in the Zohar Bereishit, Page 28b.
 Michtav Me'Eliyahu volume 4 page 120
 Tiferet Yehonatan Devarim 30:5
ספר תפארת יהונתן על דברים פרק ל פסוק ה
והביאך ה' אלוקיך אל הארץ וגו' והטיבך והרבך מאבותיך. כי ישראל חטאו בא"י והיכי דמי בעל תשובה באותו מקום ולכך אמר הפסוק שיבואו לא"י והטיבך הוא מענין כיצד מטיבין המדה היינו שמשליכין הקוצרים והזרעים רעים מתוכו וכן יהיה שהרשעים ימותו כדכתיב שנים מעיר וגו' ומ"מ לא תהיה מועט רק תהיה הברכה בך והרבך מאבותיך:
 Mishna Torah Laws of Teshuva 7:5
All of the prophets commanded concerning repentance; Israel will not be redeemed save by repentance. Indeed, the Torah long since assured us that in the end, at the close of the period of exile Israel will turn to repentance and be momentarily redeemed, even as it is said: "And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessings and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt bethink thyself among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God had driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and hearken to His voice according to all that I commanded thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee" (Deut. 30.14).
רמב"ם הלכות תשובה פרק ז הלכה ה
כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים כֻּלָּן צִוּוּ עַל הַתְּשׁוּבָה וְאֵין יִשְׂרָאֵל נִגְאָלִין אֶלָּא בִּתְשׁוּבָה. וּכְבָר הִבְטִיחָה תּוֹרָה שֶׁסּוֹף יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה בְּסוֹף גָּלוּתָן וּמִיָּד הֵן נִגְאָלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ל א) "וְהָיָה כִי יָבֹאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל הַדְּבָרִים" וְגוֹ' (דברים ל ב) "וְשַׁבְתָּ עַד ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ" (דברים ל ג) "וְשָׁב ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ" וְגוֹ':
 Mishna Torah Laws of Laws of Kings 11:1.
רמב"ם הלכות מלכים פרק יא הלכה א
הַמֶּלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ עָתִיד לַעֲמֹד וּלְהַחְזִיר מַלכוּת דָּוִד לְיָשְׁנָהּ לַמֶּמְשָׁלָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה. וּבוֹנֶה הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וּמְקַבֵּץ נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְחוֹזְרִין כָּל הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים בְּיָמָיו כְּשֶׁהָיוּ מִקֹּדֶם. מַקְרִיבִין קָרְבָּנוֹת. וְעוֹשִׂין שְׁמִטִּין וְיוֹבְלוֹת כְּכָל מִצְוָתָן הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה. וְכָל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַאֲמִין בּוֹ. אוֹ מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְחַכֶּה לְבִיאָתוֹ. לֹא בִּשְׁאָר נְבִיאִים בִּלְבַד הוּא כּוֹפֵר. אֶלָּא בַּתּוֹרָה וּבְמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הֵעִידָה עָלָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ל, ג) "וְשָׁב ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת שְׁבוּתְךָ וְרִחֲמֶךָ וְשָׁב וְקִבֶּצְךָ" וְגוֹ' (דברים ל, ד) "אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם" וְגוֹ' (דברים ל, ה) "וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ ה'". וְאֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים הַמְפֹרָשִׁים בַּתּוֹרָה הֵם כּוֹלְלִים כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁנֶּאֶמְרוּ עַל יְדֵי כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים.
The King Messiah will arise and re-establish the monarchy of David as it was in former times. He will build the Sanctuary and gather in the dispersed of Israel. All the earlier statutes will be restored as they once were. Sacrifices will be offered, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years will be observed, as commanded in the Torah. Anyone who does not believe in him or one who does not anticipate his coming not only denies the Prophets, but also the Torah and Moses our Teacher. For the Torah has given testimony about him saying, “And the Lord your G-d will turn your captivity and have compassion with you. He will return and gather you from all the peoples…If any of you should be dispersed at the ends of Heaven, from there G-d will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord, your G-d will bring you…” (Devaim 30:3-4). These matters are explicit in the Torah and include everything said by all the Prophets.
 See "On Repentance" page 132ff