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Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5781:  Forgiving Ourselves

09/20/2020 06:31:59 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Brown

Psalms 51:4-5

(4) Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity, and purify me of my sin; (5) for I recognize my transgressions, and am ever conscious of my sin.

תהילים נ״א:ד׳-ה׳

)ד( הרבה ]֭ ֶה ֶרב[ ַכּ ְבּ ֵ֣סנִי ֵמ ֲעוֺ ִ֑ני ֽוּ ֵמ ַח ָטּא ִ֥תי ַטֲהֵֽרנִי׃)ה(ִכּֽי־ְ֭פָשַׁעי ֲאִ֣ני ֵאָ֑דעְוַחָטּאִ֖תי נֶגְ ִ֣דּי ָת ִמֽיד׃

Forgiving Ourselves

Source Sheet by Jeff Brown Moreinfo

But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Seven phenomena were created before the world was created, and they are: Torah, and repentance, the Garden of Eden, and Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, and the Temple, and the name of the Messiah. The Gemara provides sources for each of these phenomena. Torah was created before the world was created, as it is written: “The Lord made me as the beginning of His way, the first of His works of old” (Proverbs 8:22). Based on the subsequent verses, this is referring to the Torah. Repentance was created before the world was created, as it is written: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalms 90:2), and it is written immediately afterward: “You return man to contrition; and You say: Repent, children of man” (Psalms 90:3). Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 39b

The Sages taught in the Tosefta: With regard to transgressions that one confessed on this Yom Kippur, he should not confess them on another Yom Kippur, since he has already been forgiven. But if he repeated those same transgressions during the year, he must confess them again on another Yom Kippur. And if he did not repeat them but did confess them again, about him the verse states: “As a dog that returns to its vomit, so is a fool who repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11), since it is inappropriate to go back and mention one’s earlier sins. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: If one confesses in subsequent years, all the more so is he praiseworthy, as he remembers his earlier sins and is thereby humbled, as it is stated: “For I know my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me” (Psalms 51:5). Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 86b

ויקרא י״ט:י״ח 19:18 Leviticus)יח( ֽא־ ִת ֤קּ ֹם ְו ֽא־ ִתטּ ֹ ֙ר ֶאת־ ְבּ ֵ ֣ני ַע ֔ ֶמּ You shall not take vengeance or bear a )18(grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD.

ְוָאֽ ַה ְבָ֥תּ ְלֵר ֲע֖ ָכּ֑מוֹ ֲאִ֖נייְהָוֽה׃

The verse You shall love your neighbor as yourself, which Rabbi Akiba declared to be a cardinal precept of the Torah [...] commands a caring concern for our fellow man. This social responsiveness is derived from one's healthy self-regard, namely as [you love] yourself. Individual importance is emphasized, but for goals beyond self- indulgence; personal fulfillment is valued, but for sublime purposes. Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, Man of Faith in the Modern World: Reflections of the Rav (Vol. 2)We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate — thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising. Maya Angelou

Fri, February 3 2023 12 Sh'vat 5783