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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?
8
votes
5answers
264 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
75 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
236 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
275 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
88 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
109 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
110 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
662 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
300 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 ...
12
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
434 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"?
15
votes
3answers
499 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
117 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
261 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 ...
14
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
259 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
69 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
69 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
146 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
209 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
84 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 ...