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19
votes
3answers
376 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
301 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
554 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
679 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, ...
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. ...
15
votes
2answers
966 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
319 views

How can someone, halachically, do teshuva when s/he has offended an anonymous person on the internet?

Ramba"m among others, state that Yom Kippur does not atone for sins committed between a person and his neighbor until a person personally asks the other for forgiveness. Mi Yodeya is an example of ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a Jewish grandmother (mother's side) really get one accepted as a Jew?

My grandmother (mother's side) is 100% Jewish and even living in Israel. As far as I know, that makes, me a Jew, too. But it feels a little bit strange to say that I am Jewish just because my ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you quit a pornography habit?

The Torah teaches that, if you're an unmarried man, watching pornography is harmful to your soul. See, for example, this article by Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman. (If you're married and need to watch ...
12
votes
2answers
302 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
108 views

Did Rabbeinu Yonah write Shaarei Teshuva in response to the burning of the Gemara?

It is widely believed that Rabbeinu Yonah played a part in having the Rambam's works burned around 1232, and that after the 1242 burning of twenty-four wagonloads of Gemaras he felt that it was a ...
11
votes
3answers
584 views

Why doesn't God offer Sodom and Gemorrah the same chance to repent He offers Nineveh?

Why does God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah without warning, but offer Nineveh a chance to repent? The men who come to Lot's house could have just easily prophesied to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah ...
11
votes
2answers
255 views

Why did the animals of Ninveh have to fast and wear sackcloth?

In Yona 3:7-8 we find that the people of Ninveh included the animals in their teshuva process. Why make the animals fast and don sackcloth? How was this part of the teshuva process?
11
votes
1answer
176 views

When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth?

When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth in times of mourning and other times of distress (e.g., when fasting for rain)? (I presume sackcloth was quite uncomfortable.) Sackcloth is mentioned in ...
10
votes
5answers
269 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
127 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
143 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?
9
votes
5answers
343 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?
9
votes
2answers
265 views

If a convert goes off the derekh, must he go to the mikvah again after he repents?

A female convert I know, who had stopped observing mitzvos for a few years, but then sought to return to the fold, was led to believe by someone that she would have to go again to the mikvah to ...
9
votes
5answers
328 views

Bracha of V'Lamalshinim

Brachos 28b Shmuel Hakattan coined the Bracha of V'Lamalshinim. Brachos 10a mentions a story where Rabbi Meir was being bothered by people and prayed for their demise. His wife Bruria tells him do ...
9
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
439 views

Teshuva and non-Jews?

The Rambam explains the basic requirements of doing teshuva and seeking forgiveness from another person: acknowledging the transgression, making amends, and seeking forgiveness (presumably publicly ...
8
votes
3answers
92 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
320 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
262 views

Who was the first person to repent?

Who was first person in history to do complete teshuva (repentance)?
7
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
387 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
96 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 ...
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
113 views

What did the communal korbanot on Yom Kippur atone for?

The torah tells us to bring korbanot to atone for certain sins (when bringing korbanot is possible). In addition, on Yom Kippur the kohein gadol offers korbanot to atone for the whole people. What ...
7
votes
1answer
78 views

What exactly is the purpose of Tisha B'av?

So recently I was answering a question about why we don't say selichos on Tisha B'av,and I answered basicaly saying that the purpose on Tisha B'av isn't to ask for forgiveness, rather it is for ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

I “stole” an ice cube. What can I do for Kaparah?

Yesterday, I was stung by a bee while walking at the zoo. After icing down the sting for a while, I continued on my way. A few minutes later, however, the bee-sting began to hurt again. I happened ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

If you don't repent of a sin,will the consequence last forever?

Will Hashem punish you until you repent? Or has a sin a time limit? If you steal a car and you don't repent will Hashem punish you until you repent? If there is a time limit for sin can we ...
6
votes
2answers
78 views

Why by “Ut'shuva, Utefila UItzedaka” does it say “Zom, Kol, Mamon”?

On top of the words ut'shuvah utefila utzedakah1 in most machzorim it also says Zom, Kol, Mamon2. Why zom on teshuvah if the Rambam's formula for teshuva (Hl. Teshuva 2) no mention of fasting; why ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Why does Hashem send Yona to tell non-Jews to do teshuva?

Sefer Yona 1:2 Why does Hashem send Yona to tell non-Jews to do teshuva (repentance)? I don't believe this was ever done before or since.
6
votes
2answers
73 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

What are the implications of karet?

Does karet mean the soul will not ever enter the olam haba? Can teshuvah rectify the transgression which lead to the karet? Can that soul in another re-incarnation rectify the blemish of karet? By "...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Is it halachically permissible to apologize and rebuke someone simultaneously?

Recently, someone in my shul was angry at me because of something that I did not do properly for him. At the beginning of davening, he yelled at me about the problem, and embarrassed me in front of ...
5
votes
3answers
239 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
286 views

Getting “used to” making a change in davening

When we change to saying "mashiv haru'ach" one is required to recite the shmoneh esrei again if he is unsure if he made the insertion. This site points out that one becomes habituated after 30 days (...
5
votes
5answers
333 views

Why do we read Yona on Yom Kippur?

Why do we read Yona of all things on Yom Kippur? There are better tales of teshuvah that are more relevant to klall yisroel; why was this sefer, which deals exclusively with non-Jews doing teshuva, ...
5
votes
2answers
371 views

Is there a justification for the practice not to whip on Erev Yom Kipur?

The Shulchan Aruch (607:6) writes that on erev Yom Kipur, everyone gets whipped 39 lashes. However, I have not seen this done in practice. Is there any source who justifies the practice not to do this?...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

If a person stops doing the bad action or begins to do the right action, why does he still need to do Teshuvah for a חטא (sin)?

If a person stops doing the bad action or begins to do the right action, why does he still need to do Teshuvah for a חטא (sin)? In other words, why do you need to do Teshuvah if you have stopped the ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Alternative Approaches to Prophetic Follow Through

This question discusses differences between positive and negative prophecy. The mentioned idea states that, while positive prophecy will always occur, negative prophecy may be negated by repentance. ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

Tshuva concerning sexual sins requires partner's exculpation?

If a person wants to do tshuva of the sexual sins committed, besides stopping the sin and asking G'd forgiveness, should the person also ask sorry to each woman that he had an inappropriate ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Should you apologize before Yom Kippur for a wrongdoing that is more than a year old?

It is a mitzvah to beg for forgiveness on the eve of Yom Kippur from those you have wronged in the previous year. As I understand it, this is necessary at once as a practical tikkun; as a necessary ...
4
votes
1answer
76 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
285 views

Should a Rabbi apologize for a comment that could be misunderstood?

If a prominent Rabbi (meaning someone who heads a community or institution, not just anyone who has semicha) makes a statement that is technically halachically correct/acceptable but is easily ...