Rosh Hashana 17b quotes a Baraita

[...] If one repents in the meantime, between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, he is forgiven; if he does not repent in the meantime, then even if he later brings as offerings all the rams of Nebaioth in the world, which are of the best quality, they do not forgive him in the Heavenly court. This implies that once one’s sentence has been decreed, even repentance cannot alter it.

(The Gemara then clarifies that this is referring to an individual, not a community)

However, isn't it commonly accepted that teshuva for a sin is effective anytime* - whether before Yom Kippur, or after it, or even many years after its commission?

*(even if aseres ymei teshuva are the most opportune time for it)

  • This seems to discuss events that are decreed based on one's deeds, but not the essential idea of forgiveness and attachment to G-d through repentance. Sometimes it is too late to avoid the consequences of our actions, but it is never too late to learn from them. – Benyomin Walters Oct 7 '19 at 20:21
  • How do you figure it means that, when the language of the Beraisa is "they do not forgive him [in the Heavenly court]"? – user9806 Oct 7 '19 at 20:35
  • The discussion in Rosh Hashanah is about decrees of the Heavenly court. The discussion of essential repentance is in Yoma. It is clear that regarding one having a portion in the World To Come repentance is always effective: sefaria.org/… – Benyomin Walters Oct 7 '19 at 20:41
  • Still not sure why it would use language of "forgiveness" if it's only talking about decrees. ("Averting" a decree would seem more appropriate, rather than "forgive"). Also, where in Yoma itself do we see that repentance is always effective (your link was to the Rambam)? – user9806 Oct 7 '19 at 21:06
  • The general theme of Teshuva as a mitzvah is discussed in Yoma, mostly from 85b and on. I brought Rambam for his analysis and synthesis of the topic. My point is that one can (and should) learn the context of a Talmudic discussion from the mesachta it is placed in. Indeed, laws are learned from the difference of placement between Bavli and Yerushalmi. – Benyomin Walters Oct 7 '19 at 21:21

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