After reading such an incredible work, there was no way I could go to sleep without sharing at least a taste of these beautiful ideas with all of you. So I typed up the Rav's lecture on repentance motivated by love versus repentance motivated by fear (which notes the distinctions between the two.) However, the part that really struck me here was the way the Rav compared the sinner who regrets his sin to someone in mourning. He is mourning for having estranged himself from God, longing to come close to him again. It is exactly the same as the way one mourns for someone they love whom they lost and will never see again. The longing is the same.
As an aside, a tangential thought that occurred to me after reading this essay- and perhaps it is all over the place- did any of you ever think about the Sheva Brachos as opposed to Shiva? Sheva Brachos occur after we have welcomed someone into their life, home, etc- seven days of rejoicing. Shiva occurs after the Levaya- we have accompanied someone to the world of the dead, at least as far as we can go with them, and now we spend seven days recounting our memories and thoughts. This symmetry seems very beautiful to me; it must have some kind of meaning.
Anyway, please read this essay; it is simply gorgeous.
Repentance Motivated by Love Versus Repentance From Fear (Joseph B. Soloveitchik