17 votes
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How does one receive forgiveness from someone they have wronged after their death?

Shulchan Aruch here אם מת אשר חטא לו מביא עשרה בני אדם ומעמידם על קברו ואומר חטאתי לאלהי ישראל ולפלוני זה שחטאתי לו (ונהגו לבקש מחילה בערב יו"כ If the person against whom he sinned has died,...
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15 votes
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Source and etymology of כפירה kefirah ‘heresy’

Edits in italics: Balashon blog discusses it at length here, and provides many sources, as well as a look at one example of it by various Rishonim. I have added some content from there during this ...
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6 votes
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Why is it that being embarrassed on one sin should atone for all?

The plural expression is common in Hazalic literature that refers to divine involvement with man, thus for example, Shabbat (104a) which famously states that man is allowed to sin, but helped to ...
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6 votes
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Are we supposed to know which transgressions are light or severe?

Bartenura in Yoma explains (based on the gemara to this mishnah) that ‘light’ commandments here means all positive mitzvot as well as negative mitzvot which are able to be subsequently ‘fixed’ (lav ...
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6 votes

Why not dump the ashes of the para aduma into a huge body of water?

The water that the ashes of the parah adumah are placed in must be drawn by a person from a body of water using a vessel. (Rambam Hilchos Para Adumah 6:1-8).
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  • 7,420
6 votes
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Cognitive meaning of כפר

As @DanF pointed out in the comments, the root meaning appears to be 'to cover', in a literal sense ('to smear') or a metaphorical sense ('to replace', 'to atone'). Gesenius and BDB say as much. Thus ...
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  • 3,612
6 votes

Should you apologize before Yom Kippur for a wrongdoing that is more than a year old?

The Mishna in Yoma 8 (9) quoted in your link says עברות שבין אדם למקום, יום הכפורים מכפר........ עברות שבין אדם לחברו , אין יום הכפורים מכפר, עד שירצה את חברו Yom Kippur atones for sins between ...
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5 votes
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Marriage: get out of jail free card?

Apirion L'Shlomo brings the following in the name of the Imrei Emes. Rashi in Parshas Tazriah says that a Chasan that sees Tzora'as we wait until after the seven days of Simcha end before going to ...
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4 votes

Why am I always the last person to finish davening Al Cheit?

This is impossible to answer since we do not know where you daven or what kind of speed they daven at. My experience has been that in shuls that are "frummer" i.e. higher percentages of people who are ...
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  • 640
4 votes
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How were sins atoned for after the destruction of the 1st Temple until the establishment of the 2nd Temple?

The Gemara asks this very same question (Megillah 31b): Abraham said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, perhaps, Heaven forbid, the Jewish people will sin before You, and You ...
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3 votes
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Why would becoming king or kohein gadol exempt one from atoning for past sins?

The Yerushalmi to this Mishnah brings two explanations for R’ Shimon’s opinion: חברייא אמרין טעמא דר"ש משם שהגדולה מכפרת אמר ר' יוסי שאין חטאו וידיעתו שוין The Chaveirim say: The reason for R’ ...
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3 votes

What do we learn from Miriam's demise being juxtaposed to the Red Heifer?

The Baal Haturim points out that Shom, there, is mentioned twice. Miriam died there and was buried there. The gematria of Shom is 300+40 = 340, the gematria of atones mechaper is 40+20+80+200 = 340. ...
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3 votes

Why not dump the ashes of the para aduma into a huge body of water?

The Chazon Ish (Parah siman 12) proves that the ashes do not actually have to mix in with the water, they just have to be stirred a bit (see Temurah 12b for details of this mixing). Therefore, there ...
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3 votes
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What Atones for Which Sins?

This is documented in the Rambam - Hilchot Teshuva, 1st chapter. In summary: The שעיר המשתלח - goat that was sent to Azazel atones on all sins if Teshuva was done. Else it only atones on "light" ...
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3 votes
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Kol Nidre: The strangers in their midst

(I'll respond to the question as it applies to Yom Kippur, as asked. The verse in Numbers is actually talking about a different context, and the same question can be asked there — but wasn't.) ...
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3 votes

What do we learn from Miriam's demise being juxtaposed to the Red Heifer?

See Tanya Iggeres HaKodesh Epistle 28. As summaries in Lessons In Tanya: To revert to the question concerning the juxtaposition of the two passages, the Alter Rebbe explains that an offering connoted ...
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3 votes
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What do we learn from Miriam's demise being juxtaposed to the Red Heifer?

According to R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's commentary on these sections of the Torah,1 the Red Heifer and the death of the righteous both accomplish the same spiritually educational mission: curing ...
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3 votes

Does Passover sacrifice make atonement?

R. Menashe Klein authored an entire resopnsum on this topic (Mishneh Halakhot vol. XV: 150). He presents it as a matter of dispute with Levush (OH 468:1) and others, being of the opinion that it does ...
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  • 34.8k
3 votes

Suffering As An Atonement

The Ramchal discusses this in Derech Hashem, part 2, chapter 2, where he writes that suffering allows to purify a mostly righteous person and get him ready for the World to Come God gave suffering ...
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3 votes

Posthumous sacrifices in Maccabees II

Jonathan Goldstein, in his commentary to II Maccabees, considers Yehuda's collection of silver as a literal misreading of the mitzva of the ḥatat offered for the collective sins of a community (Lev. 4:...
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3 votes

Why Suspend the Kohen’s Checking of a Chatan with Tzara’at During Sheva Brachot If Becoming a Chatan Forgives Sin?

The Pardes Yosef to Leviticus 13:16 brings this question from Rav Aryeh Tzvi Frumer, a Rosh Yeshiva in Lublin. The Pardes Yosef suggests that once a groom is forgiven of all of his sins, he becomes a ...
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  • 18.4k
2 votes

Why am I always the last person to finish davening Al Cheit?

Praying does not require speed - it requires Kavana - focus, concentration and meaning. I'm not sure why you should feel embarrassed in any way. Contrarily, if the majority finishes a long time before ...
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2 votes
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Does Passover sacrifice make atonement?

I searched in Rambam hilchot Korban Pessach and if I don't miss something, no Kappara (atonement) is mentioned. Thanks to the answer of mevaqesh we can see here the Tif'eret Israel who is astonished ...
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2 votes
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Why is there a guilt offering and not a sin offering for slander?

This question contains two incorrect assumptions. One incorrect assumption is that a guilt offering (korban asham) is less serious than a sin offering (korban chatas). The Ramban 5:15 indicates that ...
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2 votes

Why is kapparos gender specific while a Korban Chattas for an individual is a female?

Because it's not just atonement, but substitution (תמורה). See the teshuvah of the Geonim quoted in Tur Orach Chaim 605, and Bach there.
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  • 168
2 votes

Marriage: get out of jail free card?

See footnote 35 of this article (read the article for context): This is true with regard to each and every Jew, whatever his or her spiritual status may be, for all Jews form a soul connection with ...
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  • 42.7k
2 votes
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Suffering As An Atonement

Berachos 5a וְהַיְינוּ דְּרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ, דְּאָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ: נֶאֱמַר ״בְּרִית״ בְּמֶלַח, וְנֶאֱמַר ״בְּרִית״ בְּיִסּוּרִין, נֶאֱמַר ״בְּרִית״ בְּמֶלַח, דִּכְתִיב: ״...
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1 vote

Why did God instituted the Sacrificial system if prayers can atone for sins?

The sin offering is for unintentional sins When a person repents and brings an animal that is his possession he is expressing that he has "Sacrificed" something of value as a reminder that ...
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  • 121
1 vote

Leviticus 4:20 in most English bible translations use "atonement" which is poor translation of Hebrew's kaphar (cover)

There is always difficulty in translating from one language to another. Often, a too-literal translation will be misleading. So at best you're always dealing with an approximation that loses some of ...
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  • 5,745
1 vote

Does Hashem forgive for ongoing, recurring sins?

To add authority (in case it matters to you) I would point to the Rambam, who says, that when a sin is committed (or transgressed) unintentionally, one should do Teshuva and aim not to repeat the sin ...
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