In Likutei Mohoran Torah 4, it explains about the process of confession before a Talmid Chacham and how that it a significant process. How does that fit in with what is recorded in the Talmud/Rambam that acknowledging one's sins against Hashem to others is forbidden/detestable?


Berachos 34b

ואמר רב כהנא חציף עלי מאן דמפרש חטאיה שנאמר (תהלים לב, א) אשרי נשוי פשע כסוי חטאה

Rambam H' Teshuva 2:5

וְשֶׁבַח גָּדוֹל לַשָּׁב שֶׁיִּתְוַדֶּה בָּרַבִּים וְיוֹדִיעַ פְּשָׁעָיו לָהֶם וּמְגַלֶּה עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵין חֲבֵרוֹ לַאֲחֵרִים וְאוֹמֵר לָהֶם אָמְנָם חָטָאתִי לִפְלוֹנִי וְעָשִׂיתִי לוֹ כָּךְ וְכָךְ וַהֲרֵינִי הַיּוֹם שָׁב וּמִתְנַחֵם. וְכָל הַמִּתְגָּאֶה וְאֵינוֹ מוֹדִיעַ אֶלָּא מְכַסֶּה פְּשָׁעָיו אֵין תְּשׁוּבָתוֹ גְּמוּרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי כח יג) "מְכַסֶּה פְשָׁעָיו לֹא יַצְלִיחַ". בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בַּעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֲבָל בַּעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְפַרְסֵם עַצְמוֹ וְעַזּוּת פָּנִים הִיא לוֹ אִם גִּלָּם. אֶלָּא שָׁב לִפְנֵי הָאֵל בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּפוֹרֵט חֲטָאָיו לְפָנָיו וּמִתְוַדֶּה עֲלֵיהֶם לִפְנֵי רַבִּים סְתָם. וְטוֹבָה הִיא לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נִתְגַּלָּה עֲוֹנוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים לב א) "אַשְׁרֵי נְשׂוּי פֶּשַׁע כְּסוּי חֲטָאָה":

  • It could be that although making ones sins before God known to the public is bad, admitting them to one's friend in confidence is acceptable, and confessing them to a Talmid Chakham is meritorious.
    – Tamir Evan
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:18
  • 1
    A similar thought is found in Noam Elimelech's Tzetel Katan, note 13.
    – ezra
    Oct 19, 2017 at 15:31
  • 1
    Mohorosh is said to have said in a letter, that one must confess only to God, and that if he feels that he has to tell someone else (to get advise for what to do in his situation), then he should only do so to a great Tzadiq and Talmid Chakham. ...
    – Tamir Evan
    Oct 19, 2017 at 16:30
  • ... In another letter he said that one is not to tell his sins to others (like in a support group), but to God alone, and that one may confess to a Talmid Chakham, only because the latter nullifies himself before God.
    – Tamir Evan
    Oct 19, 2017 at 16:34
  • 1
    @ezra Note #13 seems to be talking about one's "challenges", not necessarily sins that might have been done in a moment of "weakness." Discussing one's challenge with their teacher/mentor makes total sense (getting advice etc.), and according to the Noam Elimelech ztzl has esoteric importance as well, sharing one's failings before Hashem might be a different situation.
    – Fei23
    Oct 20, 2017 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


R' Nachman could have been inclined to the Raavad's opinion that sins committed against God may be publicized so the person experiences humiliation. (See Lechem Mishneh Teshuvah 2:5 justifying the opinion of Raavad.)

Possibly more in line with R' Nachman's description of confessing to a rabbi is the instruction of Sefer Hasidim (§21) that that which the Talmud admonishes one who discloses his sins (Ber. 34b) refers to disclosing to the public, however one may tell a righteous, modest person of his sin so he may receive guidance how to repent.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .