Jewish Mysticism
R. Yose said- It is written, “The nakedness of your father and the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover” (Lev. 18-7), and it is written, “she is your mother—do not uncover her nakedness” (ibid.). It has been taught that she is certainly your mother. Thus if you uncover her nakedness, you must certainly restore her so that there will be repair. . . . It is written, “do not uncover,” for when the matter is repaired, it is repaired corresponding to the one who uncovers, and this is called teshuvah. R. Isaac said- All the sins of the world are connected to this until the point that the mother is revealed on account of them. When she is revealed all the children are revealed, and it is written, “do not take the mother together with the children” (Deut. 22-6). When the world below is repaired all is repaired until the repair rises to the holy mother, and she is repaired and concealed from that which has been uncovered. Thus it is written, “Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered up” (Ps. 32-1). Then she is called teshuvah, teshuvah certainly, and then she is called yom ha-kippurim, as it is written, “from all your sins you will purified before the Lord” (Lev. 16-30). R. Judah said- When is she called teshuvah? When the mother is concealed and she exists in joy over the children, as it is written, “as a happy mother of children” (Ps. 113-9), and she returns to her position. The one that is closed returns to its place.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in “Fore/giveness on the Way- Nesting in the Womb of Response,” Graven Images- Studies in Culture, Law, and the Sacred 4 (1998)- 153-169.