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18
votes
6answers
257 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
3answers
276 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
386 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"?
14
votes
3answers
478 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, ...
13
votes
10answers
981 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. ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
225 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
499 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
210 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
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?
10
votes
3answers
108 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
112 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
223 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
250 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?
8
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
135 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?
7
votes
4answers
197 views

Who was the first person to repent?

Who was first person in history to do complete teshuva (repentance)?
7
votes
2answers
101 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
251 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
65 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
83 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
85 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
169 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
154 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
97 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
164 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
204 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
216 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
56 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
86 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
57 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
165 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
4answers
201 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
66 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
1answer
83 views

What to do with stolen objects which are impossible to return?

If an object was stolen in one's childhood or teenage years, without knowledge of the laws regarding stealing (or not caring), if this object is impossible to return, either because the person has ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Consistency vs. Forgiveness

Both as a responsible parent and as a Jew, I want to be consistent with my children. As a parent, in order to teach them that the rules are the rules and give them a sense of predictability to rely ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

Recividism and teshuvah

There is a rampant opinion that, since recidivism rates are so high, one can never trust and assume that a person has done teshuvah and no longer poses a threat to the public. I wonder if anyone can ...
3
votes
3answers
249 views

I am or was a religious jew and purposely ate non kosher

I'm a religious Jew. I kind of lost faith and ate non-kosher purposely, and now I feel so bad with myself that I want to die. What should I do? Is there any type of repentance I should take upon ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Why do Teshuvah for an accidental חטא (sin)?

Why am I obligated to do Teshuvah if I do a חטא (sin) accidentally, according to Rambam (Hilchot Teshuva 1:1)? What am I doing Teshuvah for?
3
votes
2answers
136 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," ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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
1answer
95 views

Could Moshe Rabbeinu have made atonement for striking the rock?

See Numbers 20:1–13. Could Moshe Rabbeinu have made atonement for striking the rock, so he could have entered the promised land?
3
votes
0answers
75 views

How can one make repentance for things he can't remember?

Say an unmarried Baal Teshuvah at the age of 30 decided to make repentance. A lot of time has gone by and he doesn't remember who he cheated, lied to, stole from, spoke loshen hara about, and so on. ...
3
votes
0answers
214 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
127 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
42 views

Why was there a need for Yona to be saved in a miraculous way?

What's the deal with Yona being swallowed by a fish (2:1)? Couldn't the same thing (i.e. him realizing his mistake) be achieved if he landed on an island?
2
votes
2answers
65 views

How did the Gedolim achieve fear of Yom HaDin when the Gemoro says daya letzarah beshatah?

The Gemoro says (Brachot 9b) dayah letzarah beshaatah. The way I understand this and I think Rashi learns like this as well, is that there is no point worrying about an upcoming Tzarah. If you can do ...