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**There is a tradition that postmortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year (see e.g. Eduyoth 2:10; See also Rosh Hashanah 17a). To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.

**There is a tradition that postmortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.

**There is a tradition that postmortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year (see e.g. Eduyoth 2:10; See also Rosh Hashanah 17a). To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.

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From Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (Repentance Chapter 1:1) one can infer an answer.it seems Teshuva (returning- returning/repentance) seems to be   (nowadaysat least nowadays*) is an essential ingredient of atonement for virtually all categories of sin:

(1) ...[the sacrifices] do not atone for them until they repent and confess verbally, as it says: he shall confess the matter in which he sinned (Leviticus 5:5). ...their death or lashing does not atone for them until they repent and confess verbally. And also someone who has injured his fellow or damaged his property, even though he has repaid what he owes him, he has not atoned until he confesses and turns away from similar actions forever, as it says: From any of the sins of man (Numbers 5:6).

From the fact that without repentance, even suffering and/or death do not atone, it seems fairly implicit that there is no time limit, at least in this world*world**.

Similarly, (at least with regard to nowadays**) the implication of 1:4 is that time and suffering only function toward atonement when teshuva is also involved:

:אמר רב: כלו כל הקיצין ואין הדבר תלוי אלא בתשובה ומעשים טובים. ושמואל אמר דיו לאבל שיעמוד באבלו. כתנאי...

Said Rav said: all the deadlines have passed and the thing is only dependent on repentance and good deeds. And Samuel said: It is enough for the mourner to stand in his mourning. ItThis is also disputed by the Tannaim...*** 



 

*There is a tradition that post-mortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But(See there the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentancefull discussion.  )

 

**Interestingly*Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level) did not always require teshuva:

( 1:2) ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

However, considering that the scapegoat is a communal offering, it seems well within reason to argue that Maimonides is commenting here only regarding communal atonement, not of individual atonement, which may well always require some form of actual repentance.

**There is a tradition that postmortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance. 

From Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (Repentance Chapter 1) one can infer an answer. Teshuva (returning/repentance) seems to be (nowadays) an essential ingredient of atonement for virtually all categories of sin:

(1) ...[the sacrifices] do not atone for them until they repent and confess verbally, as it says: he shall confess the matter in which he sinned (Leviticus 5:5). ...their death or lashing does not atone for them until they repent and confess verbally. And also someone who has injured his fellow or damaged his property, even though he has repaid what he owes him, he has not atoned until he confesses and turns away from similar actions forever, as it says: From any of the sins of man (Numbers 5:6).

From the fact that without repentance, even suffering and/or death do not atone, it seems fairly implicit that there is no time limit, at least in this world*.

Similarly, (at least with regard to nowadays**) the implication of 1:4 is that time and suffering only function toward atonement when teshuva is also involved:

:אמר רב: כלו כל הקיצין ואין הדבר תלוי אלא בתשובה ומעשים טובים. ושמואל אמר דיו לאבל שיעמוד באבלו. כתנאי...

Said Rav: all the deadlines have passed and the thing is only dependent on repentance and good deeds. And Samuel said: It is enough for the mourner to stand in his mourning. It is also disputed by the Tannaim...***



 

*There is a tradition that post-mortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.  

**Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level) did not always require teshuva:

(2) ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

However, considering that the scapegoat is a communal offering, it seems well within reason to argue that Maimonides is commenting here only regarding communal atonement, not of individual atonement, which may well always require some form of actual repentance.

From Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (Repentance Chapter 1:1) it seems Teshuva - returning/repentance  (at least nowadays*) is an essential ingredient of atonement for all categories of sin:

...[the sacrifices] do not atone for them until they repent and confess verbally, as it says: he shall confess the matter in which he sinned (Leviticus 5:5). ...their death or lashing does not atone for them until they repent and confess verbally. And also someone who has injured his fellow or damaged his property, even though he has repaid what he owes him, he has not atoned until he confesses and turns away from similar actions forever, as it says: From any of the sins of man (Numbers 5:6).

From the fact that without repentance, even suffering and/or death do not atone, it seems fairly implicit that there is no time limit, at least in this world**.

Similarly, the implication of 1:4 is that time and suffering only function toward atonement when teshuva is also involved:

:אמר רב: כלו כל הקיצין ואין הדבר תלוי אלא בתשובה ומעשים טובים. ושמואל אמר דיו לאבל שיעמוד באבלו. כתנאי...

Rav said: all the deadlines have passed and the thing is only dependent on repentance and good deeds. And Samuel said: It is enough for the mourner to stand in his mourning. This is also disputed by the Tannaim...*** 

(See there the full discussion.)

 

*Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level) did not always require teshuva:

1:2 ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

However, considering that the scapegoat is a communal offering, it seems well within reason to argue that Maimonides is commenting here only regarding communal atonement, not of individual atonement, which may well always require some form of actual repentance.

**There is a tradition that postmortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance. 

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From MaimonidesMaimonides' Mishneh Torah (Repentance Chapter 1) one can infer an answer. Teshuva (returning/repentance) seems to be (nowadays) an essential ingredient of atonement for virtually all categories of sin:

Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level**) did not always require teshuva:

(2) ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

NonethelessSimilarly, (at least with regard to nowadaysnowadays**) the implication of 1:4 is that time and suffering only function toward atonement when teshuva is also involved:

*There is a tradition that post-mortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simlisticallysimplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.

**Considering**Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level) did not always require teshuva:

(2) ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

However, considering that the scapegoat is a communal offering, it seems well within reason to argue that Maimonides is commenting here only regarding communal atonement, not of individual atonement, which may well always require some form of actual repentance.

From Maimonides Mishneh Torah (Repentance Chapter 1) one can infer an answer. Teshuva (returning/repentance) seems to be (nowadays) an essential ingredient of atonement for virtually all categories of sin:

Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level**) did not always require teshuva:

(2) ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

Nonetheless, (at least with regard to nowadays) the implication of 1:4 is that time and suffering only function toward atonement when teshuva is also involved:

*There is a tradition that post-mortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simlistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.

**Considering that the scapegoat is a communal offering, it seems well within reason that Maimonides is commenting here only regarding communal atonement, not of individual atonement, which may well always require some form of actual repentance.

From Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (Repentance Chapter 1) one can infer an answer. Teshuva (returning/repentance) seems to be (nowadays) an essential ingredient of atonement for virtually all categories of sin:

Similarly, (at least with regard to nowadays**) the implication of 1:4 is that time and suffering only function toward atonement when teshuva is also involved:

*There is a tradition that post-mortem suffering has a general time-limit of one year. To what level these types of ideas can be understood simplistically/literally is controversial at best. But the suggestions does seem to be one of finite suffering even absent actual repentance.

**Interestingly, however, in the time of the Temple service, atonement (at least on the communal level) did not always require teshuva:

(2) ...But if repentance wasn't done, the goat only atones for the light ones. What are "light ones" and what are "heavy ones"? The heavy ones are sins that have the obligation of death by court, or excision. And false or vain oaths, even though they do not have excision, are of the heavy ones. And the rest of the negative commandments, and the positive commandments which do not have excision - those are the light ones.

However, considering that the scapegoat is a communal offering, it seems well within reason to argue that Maimonides is commenting here only regarding communal atonement, not of individual atonement, which may well always require some form of actual repentance.

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