I want to talk about teshuva. As we all know, the word that connotes repentance in Hebrew literally means return. I’ve long been fascinated by the notion of return to some pristine state—‘renew our days as of old’ (hadesh yameinu ke-kedem) and wondered what the collective voice is pointing to when it invokes this something called "Kedem." This is of course not limited to the High Holiday liturgy. In one of the seven wedding blessings recited under the chupah, the wedding canopy, we allude to the primordial harmony of lovers fresh with the joy of their Divine manufacture in the Garden of Eden from "Kedem."
שַמֵח תשַמח רעים אהובים כשַמֵחַךָ יצירךָ בגן עדן מקדם