Chazal state (Berachos 34b), “R’ Ahahu said: In the place where ba’alei teshuvah (a true penitent) stand, tzaddikim gemurim (the purely righteous who have been untainted by sin) do not stand.”
There was a king who reigned over his entire kingdom with justice and wisdom. On one occasion, the king wished to discover his subjects’ true feelings regarding his rule, and so he disguised himself as a beggar, and went out in the streets.
As he roamed the alleyways, he was attacked by a band of cruel thieves. They wished to harm him, but one of the thieves, a spark of mercy for the beggar having flickered in his heart, fiercely defended him against his attackers, even helping him escape to safety.
The king returned to his palace and, some time later, arranged a lavish seudas hada’ah (lit., a feast of thanksgiving.), to which he invited all of the ministers and distinguished members of the kingdom. He also invited the thief who had saved him from the clutches of his partners.
The thief sat there in his simple attire and felt rather uncomfortable in the presence of the ministers who were dressed so elegantly. The ministers as well stared at the thief in utter bewilderment:
what place did this lowly individual have at the king’s feast?
The king noticed the puzzled expressions on the faces of the ministers. He therefore called over the thief and sat him down alongside him in a display of great honor. He then related to his guests what had transpired and how this thief had saved his life.
So too, it is in relation to repentance. The Torah states (Hoshea 14:2), “Return, Israel, unto Hashem your G-d.” When an individual repents and becomes a ba’al teshuvah, he draws closer to Hashem like the thief who, through saving the king, repented and in effect anointed the king over the entire land. In a similar vein, when a ba’al teshuvah overcomes his yetzer hara, he annoints Hashem King of the world as a result. The prophet Joel taught that one should “Rend your heart, not your garments and turn to the L-rd” (Joel 2:13) In this world “a king of flesh and blood insists upon having his decrees carried out. Hashem, the Holy One, blessed be He, does not act so, for He desires one’s repentance, so that He can have any excuse to annul His decrees” (Rosh haShanah 57a). It is good when one thinks about repentance and follows it with action and deed.
For the sake of one true penitent, the whole world is pardoned. (Yoma 86b)
l’Shana Tova May Everyone Be Blessed with a Good and Sweet Year
May all your Tales end with Shalom