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9
votes
5answers
237 views

What can I do to change myself permanently through the repentance process?

I find myself in much the same state each year before Rosh HaShono. I don't know what was wrong with my attempt at teshuva but the outcome was that despite my best intentions I have not accomplished ...
5
votes
3answers
220 views

Have not gone to parents grave in seven years

A friend recently mentioned that she has not gone to her parents grave in over ten years due to its distance and when she wanted to go she was told by a Rabbi that if she has not been there for over ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

Is animal sacrifice practised among modern Jews? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why don't Jews sacrifice animals anymore? From my reading of the Bible I understand that animal sacrifice was used to atone for one's sins. Is this still practiced ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

Why do we strike ourselves during prayer?

Why do we strike ourselves when confessing sin either during shmoneah esrei or viduy?
7
votes
1answer
115 views

On Yom Kippur, why did Chachomim not want the people to know if the red thread had not turned white?

Originally a red thread was tied to the outside of the door of the Ulam on Yom Kippur. If the thread went white, it symbolised that the people’s sins had been forgiven and vice versa. Later the thread ...
3
votes
0answers
267 views

Does Kiddushin 81b imply that one opinion allows for suicide if that is the only way to keep from sinning?

The Gemoro in Kiddushin 81b brings down the following (shortened version of the) story: Rabbi Chiya Bar Ashi used to say 'May God save me from the Yetzer Hora'! When his wife overheard him she ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you quit a pornography habit?

Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman writes that all pornography is bad. If a man already has a habit of watching pornography, how do you quit?
9
votes
5answers
297 views

Are there unforgiveable sins?

If parents have committed atrocious sins against their children such as incest, physical abuse, drugging, etc. is it considered an unforgiveable sin?
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Reconciling the Torah and history regarding the Jews' response to reward and punishment

How do we reconcile the Torah's viewpoint that punishments make Jews better with what we see that punishments push Jews away (and rewards make Jews better)? The Gemara says that Mashiach will come ...
7
votes
1answer
66 views

Why couldn't the Jews do Teshuva by the incident of the spies?

After Hashem chastised the Jews for not wanting to go into Eretz Yisrael, and told them that they will have to die in the desert, the Jews seemed to have had a change of heart. A few even were willing ...
12
votes
2answers
264 views

Could someone who has committed a heinous crime convert to Judaism?

Is there any reason that someone who has committed horrible sins in the past (for example, mass murder) could not become a Jew? Assume, of course, that the sinner/criminal is willing to do teshuvah ...
7
votes
2answers
313 views

How to make amends for my previous mistakes?

According to the Talmud... "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." - Mishnah ...
7
votes
1answer
89 views

Forgiveness on Rosh Chodesh

If Rosh Chodesh is a "Zeman Kapara" (time of atonement) as we say in the Mussaf prayers, why does it contain no selichot and no tachanunim? Why doesn't it (the day of Rosh Chodesh itself) resemble Yom ...
7
votes
2answers
114 views

When did Ben Teshuva become Baal Teshuva?

Rabbeinu Yonah in Bava Basra 39a talks about someone who does Teshuva and calls him a Ben Teshuva. What is the earliest reference in history to the words Baal Teshuva? And why did it change from Ben ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Why are we strict during the 10 days of repentance?

The lone halacha in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 603: Even someone who is not careful about eating [pas akum], during the 10 days of repentance he must be careful. Since the S.A. didn't mention stringencies ...
10
votes
3answers
112 views

Techniques for preparing for teshuva?

I'm attempting to prepare for Yom Kippur, and among the preparations is the issue of determining what, exactly, I should be focusing on during viduy this year. I'm curious whether there are any ...
12
votes
2answers
701 views

Is the Book of Life ever really sealed?

In davening and in greetings, we always refer to the "sealing" of the Book of Life. כתיבה וחתימה טובה1 we say; בראש השנה יכתבון וביום צום כיפורים יחתמון2 we pray. Wikipedia says: The High ...
16
votes
3answers
317 views

Do I have to forgive a repeat offender?

If somebody has repeatedly wronged me (in the same way) in the past, am I obligated to keep forgiving him if he asks? On the one hand, maybe this time he finally is really doing teshuva; on the other ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why don't Jews sacrifice animals anymore?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Jews do not currently sacrifice animals like ancestors long ago. Why do Jews not currently sacrifice animals? Will there be a time when sacrificing returns once again? How ...
16
votes
2answers
468 views

Does a convert have a clean slate?

When a non-jew converts to Jusaism, must he still do teshuva from past sins, or does the "reborn" concept stretch far enough to consider him "sinless"?
17
votes
3answers
563 views

Should one induce vomiting upon realizing s/he just ate non-kosher?

I've heard several stories of people who ate something, realized it was non-kosher, and therefore induced vomiting. Is this halachically required? Recommended? Does it accomplish anything? (If not, ...
10
votes
3answers
130 views

What to do before death

If a doctor tells a person that he is certain to die shortly (e.g., within one hour), what should that person do during his remaining minutes?
18
votes
6answers
274 views

how to survive if you are hanging on to some aveiros

Is there a strategy or saying / quotation (chasidish, chazal, etc.) that addresses what to do if there are some aveiros that one is not ready to give up on but wants to feel good about doing the other ...
16
votes
10answers
1k views

Baal Teshuva — Interested in both Chabad and Breslov, now what?

I became a baal tshuva quite some time ago through the "yeshivish" derech, but for the last number of years have been becoming less and less religious, and losing enthusiasm and interest in Judaism. ...
8
votes
1answer
265 views

If you use money for kaparos pre-yom kipur, is it fungible or must those bills go directly to tzedaka?

When we do Kaparos, we say "this money shall go to charity" -- so I put that dollar bill in the tzedaka box; is it okay if a few days from now I count what's in my tzedaka box, write a check for the ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Why does the Rambam require repentance, and not just more good deeds, before Yom Kippur?

The Rambam says if someone's virtues-vs-sins balance is even as of Rosh Hashanah, their verdict happens on yom kippur. If they did teshuva in those ten days, they get a pass; if not, they don't. ...
0
votes
4answers
83 views

Negative t'shuva or positive t'shuva?

If one were to accept upon oneself a single mitzva to perform as carefully as possible as a first incremental step toward full t'shuva, should that mitzva be a negative commandment or a positive ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

What is the role of government punishment in the teshuva (repentance) process?

If I understand it, according to Halacha, if Reuven steals $100 from Shimon, he has to first return the money (possibly plus another $100), apologize; then regret, confess, resolve, and abstain. If ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

L'chayim vs. Lachayim

During the עשרת ימי תשובה we make insertions into the שמונה עשרה, each of which contains the word לחיים, meaning "for life." What is the source for insisting on pronouncing it "zachrenu l'chayim," ...
7
votes
4answers
225 views

Who was the first person to repent?

Who was first person in history to do complete teshuva (repentance)?
3
votes
0answers
130 views

Elul Cheshbon HaNefesh

How does one make a Cheshbon HaNefesh during Elul. I'm aware of the technique given in Sefer Cheshbon HaNefesh, but that is intended (and set up as) as a year round exercise. To do something more ...
7
votes
1answer
93 views

Teshuvah Negating a Negative Prophecy

There is a concept that while a positive prophecy must come to pass (at least when it is a national prophecy) a negative one can be retracted if the subjects to teshuvah (repent)? While there a number ...