What’s the source for the idea that you get כפרת עונות when you are embarrassed?

I’m not referring to one being ashamed and embarrassed of sinning, but rather one who randomly gets embarrassed during the day and that serves as כפרת עונות.

I heard a story of the Chafetz Chaim who was very happy one day and they asked him why, and he said I was walking past a schoolyard of children and I tripped on some steps and tumbled to the floor and all the kids laughed at me. Then they asked him so why are you happy, you should be upset! And he said why should I be upset, I was embarrassed and got כפרת עונות, this is a happy day!

So when I ask my question, I mean being embarrassed by happenstance, not being ashamed over a sin

  • Related: "Why is it that being embarrassed on one sin should atone for all?" (I don't think this question is a duplicate of the one I'm linking to, as as this question is asking for a source, and the linked one brings a source, and is asking for explanation of the statement in that source.)
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Mar 16 at 17:40
  • @TamirEvan yeah that seems more like when you embarrass yourself and feel ashamed over a sin you did, but I’m talking about if you happen to get embarrassed what’s the source Commented Mar 17 at 0:32
  • I am wondering what you are looking for, if Meir's anwser wasn't enough? If you consider that embarrassing someone is likened to murdering them (vort about the gravity of the offense), then certainly it would be considered a kapara from their pov. Something along those lines?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Mar 17 at 11:13
  • @RabbiKaii his answer is more “if you feel ashamed over a sin you did them they’ll forgive you for it.” But I’m looking for something like the Chafetz Chaim story, that you get embarrassed anytime in life and that serves to forgive your sins. I do like your answer with the murder but that’s a bit more lamdush, I’m wondering if there’s a more outright source Commented Mar 17 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


Berachos 12b:

וְאָמַר רַבָּה בַּר חִינָּנָא סָבָא מִשְּׁמֵיהּ דְּרַב: כָּל הָעוֹשֶׂה דְּבַר עֲבֵירָה וּמִתְבַּיֵּישׁ בּוֹ — מוֹחֲלִין לוֹ עַל כָּל עֲוֹנוֹתָיו

And Rabba bar Ḥinnana Sava said in the name of Rav: One who commits an act of transgression and is ashamed of it, all of his transgressions are forgiven. Shame is a sign that one truly despises his transgressions and that shame has the power to atone for his actions (Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto).

The Gemara there goes on to bring several proofs for this point: from a verse in Yechezkel, and from an episode involving Shaul.

  • I mean more about the idea that any embarrassment in general gives you כפרת עונות. I guess I’ll edit the question to be more clear Commented Mar 17 at 0:33

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