The Nature of Forgiveness
Forgiveness: A History In Four Parts
"Dieu me pardonnera; c'est son
“God will forgive me; that's his job.”
(Johann Heinrich Heine- German poet and
assimilated Jew, d 1856)
At the heart of the High Holidays, after
all the prayers and regret, sermons and meditation, study and intensity, lies
one word - forgiveness. G-d forgives us and we forgive each other. Without
forgiveness all the promised change for the future - which, no matter how
intense the assurances, lives only in the world of possibility - can do nothing
to affect our verdict, let alone vindicate us.
are we to utter the phrase, “I am Mochel (I Forgive) you” and to
blindly assume that G-d does the same, that we run the risk of overlooking the
mechanics of this enigmatic concept.
seems most people are resigned to express hatred toward Cho Seung-Hui, the
Virginia Tech gunman who shot and killed 32 people before taking his own life,
still, somewhere in between all the anger, there are the occasional students who
are willing to forgive, and offer their prayers to honor the killer's life.
State University freshman Justin Heba explained: "Cho Seung-Hui lived
eight-thousand, four-hundred, and eighty-nine days. I and no reasonable person,
or deity, could or should allow the events of one of them to discount the other
eight-thousand, four-hundred, and eighty-eight," the student wrote.
"You will be in my prayers, Cho, though I never knew you -- it is a shame
that you died the way you did, and that so many others died that day too…he
deserves to be respectfully and lovingly remembered, just like the rest of the
victims," she said. “They are senselessly hating him in return, and that
is completely unfair."
October 4, 2006
Explaining the Amish way, Gertrude Huntington, an
expert on children in Amish society, told the AP that Roberts' Amish neighbors
would probably be very supportive of the killer… "because judgment is in
God's hands: 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.'"
Monday morning, Roberts, heavily armed, stormed into
the one-room West Nickel Mines Amish School, sent the boys and adults outside
and barricaded the entrance with wood before tying up the 10 girls and shooting
them, finally turning the gun on himself.And Journalist Tom Shachtman, who wrote
a book on Amish culture, told the New York Times: "I don’t want to
denigrate anybody else who says they're imitating Ch st, but the Amish walk the
walk as much as they talk the talk. They know their children are going to
heaven. They know their children are innocent ... and they know that they will
join them in death. The hurt is very great but they don't balance the hurt with
What is so disturbing about the above
quoted articles is not only the apparent lack of proper understanding of what a
life is - our one chanced journey to attain - nor the curiosity if all those who
are choosing to forgive these killers also forgave the brother they have not
been talking to for decades as well as if they mended the common friction with
their parents (not to mention if they can stay cool and forgive when someone
cuts them off on the road or other innocuous daily frustrations).
is something else, something far more sobering that gnaws at me.
searched through news opinion pieces at the time and spoke to colleagues hoping
someone would make mention of one crucial error in all of this, something so
blatant it almost makes these people seem like arrogant buffoons; Are they
actually forgiving these killers for what they did to someone else?! What
Chutzpa. “Dear Sir, I saw how you just spat at my mother, and, I
forgive you”. “I just witnessed you mauling that innocent man and its OK, I
forgive you”. Now multiply that by a thousand.
had they said, “We forgive you for the anguish you have caused us”,
while maybe a misreading of their emotions, it would at least be within their
this, if the killer had never asked for anyone’s forgiveness to begin with,
can the institution even apply to him?
we shall now see, Yom Kippur, brings analogous complexities.
THE BIRTH OF YOM KIPPER:
looking at Yom Kipper, Teshuva and Vidduy through the prism of history, even
with the above in mind, we can easily glaze over, or even miss, the following
that the events surrounding the birth of a Day of Atonement start with a
nation’s tragic error. The golden calf had been molted and the table is set
for Moshe’s disappointment in the nation he had so selflessly nurtured. After
the Luchos are broken the healing begins. Moshe, our leader, takes up residence
once again in the heavenly abode to plead our case to the Almigh-ty.
משֶׁה אֶל י-וָה
begins to forgive while revealing the single greatest incantation for Teshuvah
and G-d’s assistance (the Yud Gimmel Middos).
see it? Let’s read that sentence again: Moshe, our leader, takes up
residence once again in the heavenly abode to plead our case to the Almigh-y.
G-d begins to forgive while revealing the single greatest incantation for
Teshuvah and G-d’s assistance (the Yud Gimmel Middos).
our leader… pleads our case to the Almigh-y. G-d begins to forgive…
Can it be
that Moshe was a messenger for our Teshuva? Teshuva, like, say, Tephillin, is a Chovas HaGuf - an
obligation on the individual - and, like Tephilin, indubitably could not
be fulfilled through a Shliach!
question is compounded when we consider the words of the Yerushalmi, Nedarim
5:4, “When one says Vidduy he must be Mpharet- Specify - his sins in
bring indignity or shame to the transgressor.”, in fact the Mishnah Berura, Siman
607, explains, L’Halacha, the concept of Vidduy as the embarrassment caused by
the admission and the atonement that pain brings. Now, it is safe to assume that
we can all agree that shame, if ever an obligation, can not be accomplished
through someone else
This is like the wise man of Chelm who, after hearing of all the troubles of its
denizens, decided that there is an easy solution: raise money and with the
collected funds they shall hire a person who will be paid to worry in lieu of
the residents of the town, then all the Da’agaos (worries) will be solved!
We may be
tempted to explain away our dilemma by suggesting that Moshe was not doing Teshuvah,
or better said Vidduy, on our behalf; rather Moshe was our advocate,
a lawyer campaigning for a cause he believed in, pleading and being Mispallel to
G-d and to His Middas Harachamim to not exterminate us.
hypothesis however is unconvincing:
Talmud, Yoma 86b, makes it clear that these Pesukim regarding Moshe’s petition
to G-d are the paradigmatic articulation of Vidduy. In fact, the
Rambam, Hilchos Teshuva 2:3 codified the individual’s obligation of
Pyrut HaChet - specifying the sin during the Vidduy process - from this stitch
of Talmud, read: from Moshe. Indeed, one of the few Pesukin the Rambam marshals
to support his view in the Yad is by this Halachah, Shmos 32:31, "וישב
משה אל ה'
ויאמר אנה חטא
העם הזה חטאה
is the history of this day rooted in a Shliach for Teshuvah, so is its key
highlight of the Yom Kipper service is the Avodah of the Kohen Gadol which,
again, at its core, is the returning and confession through a Shliach, or more
accurately, two Shluchim; the Kohen Gadel confesses the sins of Am Yisroel 
(Vayikra 16:12) while the Azzezel actually atones. See Rambam, Teshuva 1:2.
should be noted here, that serendipitously, the Talmud, Yuma 37, expounds
through an exegeses the verse of Moshe’s Vidoy to the Vidoy of the Kohen Gadol.)
may wonder if these two examples are rooted in the idea of leaders and their
shared responsibility for our actions. As the Talmud, Shabbos 54, teaches that
leaders of each generation are punished (first) for the sins of their respective
generation, for they should have prevented them from happening by protesting,
and, we can argue that the fact that Halachos of Vidoy are learned from Moshe is
not proof of the permissibility of a Shliach by this Chovas HaGuf rather the
exception that proves the rule: Leaders, and only they, have the power of
us all and carry the weight of our sins.
argument too is unpersuasive; for one, if that were true here, would not then
Aaron, who indeed could have, as well as should have, rebuked the nation
prevent this tragedy of the Eigel, be the leader to take the role of the “repenter”?
on Yom Kipper the Chazaras HaShatz includes the section containing Viddoy. The
explains that this is no different in objective then the daily Chazaras HaShatz;
to benefit those who can not read, and on Yom Kipper too the Chazan says Vidduy
to satisfy their personal obligation. Ostensibly, even non Gedolim/leaders of
respective generations have the authority and powers to vicariously satisfy our
obligation to repent and/or confess.
in the Minchas Chinuch, Mitzva 364, where he more then just ask these questions,
he proves from them. It is his Halachik (!) view that, as seen
from the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kipper and Moshe at the Chet Haegel, a Jew can
confess sins through a Shliach!
ironic the famous Talmud in Avodah Zara
“The sin of the golden calf was
(allowed to be) done only to give a Pischon Peh/an
opening (so as not to feel hopeless in the difficulty of repenting) to Ba’alei
this be said when it was not even the Chotim who did the Teshuva in that
instance?! This Gemara will be returned to shortly.
THE BIRTH OF YOM KIPPER, PART 2:
Tov, save for Yom Kipper, has one common denominator; they are all
celebrations and commemorations of a past event.
based on the above discussion, we are now reminded of the birth of Yom Kipper in
history through the efforts of Moshe and forgiveness of G-d, however that is not
the thrust of the day, neither in liturgy nor in Hashkofa (especially when
compared to the other Yomim Tovim).
Kipper, it would seem, was always meant to be, with or without a Chet Haegel and
history. Indeed this is the view of the Midrash, Bareishis Rabbah 3:10:
“ …’there was evening and there was
morning, one day’, The Evening – these are the deeds of the sinners. The
Morning – these are the deeds of the righteous, and the One Day is the one Day
G-d gave them to return, Yom Kipper”.
HaChinuch (Mitzva 188) too seems to believe that the world needs a Yom
Kipper, regardless of history:
“At the root of this Mitzva (Yom
Kipper) is in His kindness He gave us a Day…for if not within a matter of
years the world could deserve devastation…and at the world’s creation
this time was set and sanctified for this…”
Rashi (Devarim 9:18), makes the case that seems to challenge this Medrash as
well as disagree with the Sefer HaChinuch
forgave us for the Eigel on Yud Tishrei in gladness and therefore
established it as a Day of forgiveness for the generations…”
the Midrash, brought in Yalkut Shemoni (391), teaches:
“…on the last of the 40 days (Yud
Tishrei) Moshe cried and fasted and so was decreed for all Jews….God said ‘
I swear by My Throne Of Glory that this Day will be a Day when you cry in
gladness and it will become a Day of סליחה
ומחילה for you and the generations after…”
Complicating matters further is
that Rashi himself, in his commentary to Psalms on the Pasuk:
"... יכתבו ימים
יצרו ולא (קר'
וכת'- ולו) אחד בהם"
the case for a timeless Yom Kippur:
“From the beginning of your
creation…this is Yom Kippur…”,
seemingly, opposing his above
answer these divergent traditions as follows; The position the Midrash in B”R
was teaching was the need for a Day somewhere in the year dedicated for
mercy, this too was what the Chinuch was saying, when that day would be
however was not known, or at least set, and it was the Chet Haegel that
established it on Yom Kipper/Yud Tishrei.
This answer though seems somewhat
forced. A quick perusal of the above Midrashim makes it clear that G-d was not
setting the calendar anew after the Chet Haegel but was introducing to
the בנ"י to a new concept and manifestation of
Another difficulty with this
approach is, yet again, of history:
We find Midrashim that explain
events prior to Sinai as well as dating them, through the prism of a Yud Tishrei/Yom
Kipper. Abraham, for example, may be the best example. In Pirkei D’R’ Elazar we are taught that
Abraham’s Bris Mila
took place on Yom Kipper. The
fact that Abraham kept Mitzvos before they were given does not work here to
explain Yud Tishrei being sanctified in Abraham’ s
eyes, for as the Seredei Eish teaches,
the Avos did not keep Mitzvos rooted in events that were yet to happen.
to answer the visible disagreement/contradiction of Midrashim above we must say
that a Yud Tishrei/Yom Kipper always existed in some form or in the Olam שליהות, however
after the Chet Haegel a new facet was added, a innovative dimension introduced.
What that new element(s) was/is needs further study, as we shall see.
We shall also return to the Bris of Abraham and the significance of it
taking place on Yom Kipper.
Before we continue with the history of Yom
Kipper let us briefly discuss the history of Teshuvah.
Who was the first to repent?
The Midrash teaches (B”R 84:19)
based on the Pasuk (Bereishis 37:29), "Reuven returned to the
"’returned’ means repented. Hashem told Reuven,
"No one has ever repented. You are the first…your descendant (Hoshea)
will be the first to call for repentance, as it is written, ‘Return, Yisroel,
unto Hashem (Hoshea 14:2)'".
The same Midrash teaches:
Before you, no one has ever sinned and
then repented - Rueven was the first to do Teshuva – (lit. Rueven opened/began
Although it is unclear on which
Chet he was doing Teshuva for,
what does seem patent is that he was not the first.
Both Adam and Cain repented.
As did both Ebimelech
and Pharaoh, both in the days of Abraham. This is not to mention the Midrashim
that deal with the repentance of Yishmoel
There are also a myriad of other
difficulties with this Midrash.
1 – What is the meaning of ראובן פתח
בתשובה תחילה? Is there a connection to the language in
Avoda Zara mentioned above of “PISCHON” Peh?
2 – What is the connection to
Hoshea who, from the Pasuk brought, did not repent per se rather galvanized others
to do so?
3 –If his repentance was for
the switching of the beds, the Talmud (Shabbas 55b) has already taught that
“who ever says Reuvein sinned is in error- surely the first recorded act of
Teshuva should be for an actual sin, we would also have to explain why at this
time did Ruevein see fit to repent for a past deed -, and, if his repentance was
for Mechiras Yosef, Rueven should be the last of the Shevatim to repent for
if anything he saved Yosef and was not even there when he was sold.
To answer and explain all of the above we
need to establish as well as prove one simple Yesod, an overarching rule, a
simple template that distinguishes the founding of Yom Kipper and the historical
seeds of Teshuva from other days and actions. In order to accomplish this we
must bring what may at first seem like an arbitrary pattern:
brought in the name of R’ Chaim Brisker
that the reason the Kohen Gadol was able to vicariously atone for the Klal
without fulfilling all the laws of Vidoy is because: “…there is a
difference between Vidoy D’Yachid and Vidoy D’Rabim (individual confession
and confession by/for a group)”
Rambam, after first explaining the significance of the Aseres Yemai Teshuva,
cryptically states (Teshuva 2:6): “ Yom Hakipurrim is the
time for Teshuva for both the Yachid and the Rabim”.
We say in
Davening on Yom Kippur “(G-d) who forgives us for our sins and the sins of
all of Israel.”
will cite more examples of this
phenomenon, but for
now the point may have been made. Let us begin:
something unique about the sin of Mechiras Yoseph:
יוסף was the/our
first communal sin. Until that point in history, Jews(?)
were individuals serving G-d, and as individuals they may have
sinned and even
it was only after the Shevatim were born did we represent a unit, a force in
familial numbers as well as in strength.
Reuven, realizing the crime that had just taken place and
knowing G-d will now reevaluate him and his brother’s devotion and service as
a whole, a unit, during this Shaas Din, was the first ambassador on
behalf of Klal Yisroel in repentance. For although we may not all sin, or better
said, sin all sins, we all must all suffer their consequences. As Rambam teaches (Teshuva 3:1) we must view the world as half
Zakai and half Chayav, knowing that our one sin or singular kind deed can tip
the scale. Reuvein may have been referencing his personal past mistake, but he
chose this moment to gain amnesty from G-d by his repentance now for his
brothers as well. Consider the language used:
years later Moshe set a continual based on what Reuven was the first to do –
משֶׁה אֶל י-וָה
similarities between these two Pesukim, specifically their first five words, are
fact went beyond that opening/פתח set by Reuven and included himself in the
Teshuva of the community
regarding a sin that, unlike Ruevein and the Mechira, he had no part
in on any angle. This all happened on Yom
transforming a Day that always existed from a day of personal and autonomous
return into a day of mutual and communal responsibility.
Centuries late Hoshea did the same.
fascinating, now, is the following Midrash:
“Reuvein did Teshuva all his life and
only when Moshe appeared was it accepted”!
The individual as community.
As the Talmud (Yuma 87b) teaches,
how great is Teshuva, for even the Teshuva of one can erase the sins of
parallel mention of this ideology in the Talmud
marshals an ostensibly unrelated Pasuk to prove this assertion (Isaiah 51:21):
שמעי נא זאת עניה
It seems to me that the only connection this Pasuk has to
the above dictum/ philosophy is the word עניה- afflicted one - an allusion, perhaps,
to the only day
referenced as Innoy in the Torah,
Yom Shel Innoy-Yom Kippur, only then the Klal, as a unit, has the power
to achieve perfection through others.
The Mitzvah of Bris Mila too, it would seem, has this
exclusivity. As the Talmud (Kidushin 29a) teaches
Bris Mila is an obligation which a child, for obvious reasons, can not execute
on his own and it is therefore considered the personal Mitzva of
the father (unique from other Mitzvos done through the medium of Chinuch).
If however the father too can not perform the Bris then the Mitzva becomes the personal
Mitzvah of the local Battei Dinnim and Sha’ar Knesses Yisroel (see footnotes
27 and 28 as to our reading of the Lomdus into this Halachah).
is the significance of Abraham’s Bris being performed on Yom Kippur, a Day of
the Klal in lieu of the Yachid.
Moshe was not a Shliach per se rather a part of a greater
Now we can see how magnificent the poetic
realism was in the A-lmighty choosing to appear to Moshe that first Yom Kippur
in a Tallis; like the Shliach Tzibbur (description found in Medrash Tanchuma Ki
Sisa 37) praying on behalf of the Klal.
As the Seder HaMishna (from the son of the Machatitz
the concept of one Jew returning past deeds to G-d, like Moshe, for the benefit
of another is, at its core, the Halachah of Arvus - every Jew is responsible for
other, allowing us to perform deeds that are unnecessary
for us to fulfill for the gain of another.
To explain this further let us see how Rambam (Teshuvah
2:5) defines the uniqueness of these Days.
Although man can repent the whole year,
he needs a quorum to guarantee acceptance, however during these Days even a Jew
by himself has this power”.
According to Rambam, the only distinction between
Yom Kippur and the rest of the year is the vicarious universality of Klal
Yisroel; only on this Day of days are we together even when apart,
suffering in each others consequences and rejoicing in each others victories.
Let us also revisit the Pasuk Rashi
brings as a source for a timeless Yom Kippur:
יצרו ולא (קר'
The Kri V’chsiv
alone expounds our point homiletically; To G-d there is only one Yom Kippur (אחד
בהם ולו) and one nation that it is given
to. But to us, the Klal, it would be read as - ולא אחד בהם ,
translated to mean that the individual-
בהם - , the measure of one man autonomous
from the rest, is absent on that same Day. There
is no “one (person)” on this Day.
The Talmud (Taanis 26) teaches:
There are no Yomim Tovim L’Yisroel like
Yom Kippur and Tu B’av.
Clearly the Talmud is referencing some commonality between
these two days; after all, we are already taught that the Simchas Beis Hashoava
is the happiest time in the Jewish calendar.
The Talmud goes on to explain the significance of Tu
B’Av in several ways: it was the day maidens would prepare to meet their
respective mate, the day Binyamin was let back into Klal Yisroel, the day the
tribes were allowed to intermarry with one another and the day the sentries were
This is the commonality Tu B’Av shares with
Yom Kippur: the dismantling of the physical and conceptual walls that divide us.
It is about true unity; the
rejection of the individual in search of a greater whole;
the me for the us; the trees for the forest.
are no Yomim Tovim L’Yisroel like Yom Kippur and Tu B’av.
Tovim L’Yisroel. 
 See however Megilla 28 in
the name of Mar Zutra (…”I forgive everyone…”) and Ritv”a
there as well as the language in Tephila Zaka before Yom Kipper, implying
that we can be forgiven with .פיוס See also Moady Yisroel pg 330.
 See Sefer Hamapteach in the back of Rambam Hilchos Teshuva/Frankel edition. Interestingly, although there they do bring this question in the name of the Seder Hamishnah (written by the son of the Machatitz HaSekel) and Seder Hateshuva - a contemporary three volume encyclopedia on Teshuva - they fail to mention the Minchas Chinuch who, as we shall soon see, asks these questions as well as focuses strongly on the words of the Seder Hamishnah. The author wishes to thank BMG Baron Library for their time in locating, photocopying, marking and faxes many of the works that are quoted throughout this piece.
 See also Gittin 29b-..מילי שלא
 There is a postscript to this joke: the residents of Chelm responded, “well, if he gets all that money, what does he have to worry about?”
 See Sefer Yiraim, Mitzvah 363 who has this understanding of these verses. However, to support this view he would be forced to have a radically different reading of the Talmudic text we are about to bring. See Toras Shleima note 243 who explains the Yiraim in a most convenient way.
 Although thus far we have
only asked on Moshe’s Vidoy (as opposed to Teshuva
through a Shliach), see the Pasuk immediately preceding, 32:30, where Moshe
makes a similar statement to the בנ"י -
אעלה אל ה'..."
and the comment in B”R 21:6
שמות לב: ל...".
 The exact confession of the Kohen Gadol and if there is a requirement for בנ"י to say Vidoy simultaneously is beyond the scope of this essay, see Meiri, Chibur HaTeshuva pg 546. Suffice it to say, regardless of our duel role in that Korban, nothing can escape the fact that the K”G is playing part of our role of repentance.
 See Rashi on Devarim 1:3
 The fact the Moshe could
never have been be blamed for not protesting in the case of the Eigel-he was
in the heavens – is a weak point, as my wife points out, for the idea of
reproof is about preventing the seeds of Chet, i.e. the Eruv
 In fact, see Meshech
Chochma, 34:6 where he explains the Pasuk “ …no man should go up with you…” to be referring as a
refrain on Aaron who played a role in the sin and for that reason can
not take part in Teshuvah for Klal Yisroel.
 Yuma, chapter 8:25. He brings this from Rav Amram Goan. See however Shulchan Aruch 608:5 in the Ram”a in the name of the Ra’n. See also Sefer Korban Eisan 15:11.
 We should not confuse our question with that of Tephila and Chazaras HaShatz’s ability to fulfill one’s obligation in prayer. That works through the Halachik device of Shomeah K’Onah which could obviously not apply to the Jews in the Machaneh while Moshe was in the heavens.
 The bottom of Avoda Zara
 It is interesting to call
attention to the term “Pischon Peh” and its more then three sudden uses
during these days: here, regarding the שטן
and in the Amida of the Yomim Noraim.
 See L’Teshuvas Hashana pg 146 where such an answer is given.
 Pirkei DR”E #29, See Tosphos, Rosh Hashana 11a S.V. Elah. Compare this to Ramban, 17:26.
Seredei Eish 2:53. See
Shabbos HaGodol/mt05: Chometz:
the True Miracle of Pesach, where
the Seredei Eish’s theory is put to the test and compared to many
seemingly opposing Midrashim.
 See Kol Simchah ,Otzar
Hamachshava Hachasidus, Nedivas Haleiv in the name of the Kotzker Rebbe as
well as Toras HaSefas Emes all explaining this to be about על
can be implied by Rashi 37:19 in the second interpretation.
 See footnote above, all those sources deal with this question. See also Shu”t Chashva Ltuva 44 brought in Shallal Rav, Bereishis pg 297.
 See B”R 22:19, Pirkei D’R’Elazar 20 based on Bereishis 4:13, B”R 23:13, Tanchumah note 9, et al.
 See Beraishis 20:4-12
 See Bava Basra 16b.
 See Letshuvas Hashana pg 113 second column were I found it brought ...מפי השמועה..."”.
 Many struggle with this idea because the main point that R’ Chaim found troubling was that the Kohan Godol was not obliged in Pirut HaChet when confessing for the Klal (see footnote #6 above), R’Chaim’s briefly cited answer however would preclude Moshe from said obligation as well (he too was doing “Viddoy D’Rabbim”) yet it was from Moshe’s actions that the Talmud established the rule of Pirut HaChet!
 If the term “Jew” is accurate in describing adherents to Yehadus before Matan Torah is beyond the scope of this essay. For a brief overview of this topic see Ramaban, Vayikra, 24:10 and Encyclopedia DeTalmudus, AVOS.
were the connection between the Chet Hegel and Micharas Yosef is beautifully
expounded, here we will bring part:
אמרו עליו "אֵלֶּה
שאמרנו בו "אֵלֶּה
בה לאחר מתן
בישראל. והחטא הקדום
יוסף, הוא שורש כל
באים לכפר את
גם על שני
שורש כל שאר
 Medrash Hagadol, Devarim 6:4
 See Maharal (Nesiv HaTeshuvah chapter 3) and Ein Yaakov where this Memra is brought in the name of Mar Zutra. We should note that as a rule the Maharal always follows the Gerssa of the Ein Yaakov (see Rabbi Hartman Edition ff ad loc).
 Eruvin 65a
 For further analyses into this last Memra, see Maharal ad loc as well as Shallal Rav, Yomim Noraim pg 327-328 - in the name of the Anaph Yoseph (commentary on Ein Yaakov, Yoma 87b) and the Sifsei Daas - where he seems to prove our point of Arvus by Teshuva in greater philosophical detail. See also the comments of the Chasam Sofer in his Toras Moshe Al HaTorah, Parshas Vayikra (1:1) in the name of his Rebbe, Rabbi Phinchos Horovitz, the Haphloah, where, again, this point is exemplified.
 This reading of the Gemara is based on the supposition taught there by the Birkas Shmuel, by R’ Baruch Ber Lebovitz in his recording of discussions he had with his Rebbe, R’Chaim Brisker, on this Sugya.
 Indeed when it come to Chinuch it may very well be that the child never had/has a Mitzvah pe se, see http://www.yibuffalo.org/divrei_torah/Katan.pdf, by this writer: וראי' ידוע לזה ממה שכתב הרמב''ם בהלכות מצה פרק ו הלכה י ''קטן שיוכל לאכול פת מחנכין אותו במצות ומאכילין אותו אפילו כזית מצה'' ולא פי' שקטן מחיוב בפני עצמו אלא רק מתורת חינוך של האב עליו
 On Rambam, Teshuva 1:2, pg 373. See also Minchas Chinuch cited above where he quotes from the Seder HaMishna at length. See also Sefer HaMaphteach quoted above, footnote 1. We should note that all those who bring up this concept of Arvus by Teshuva seem to do so hesitantly. See Seder Hatshuva pg. 180 and footnote 38 there where he strives to make it mainstream. Also, see Sefer Meil Shmuel by Rabbi Chaim Shmuel Florentien (18th century), pg. 10, second column, second paragraph.
 Ostensibly, this brand of Teshuvah can only help for the past, future change can only come from each individual. A simple illustration might be the class that is punished because of the misbehavior of a few; in such a scenario it would not be out of line for one of the “good” students, who now is being punished, to come to the defense of those trouble makers. It is only when no consequence is suffered by the entire class that they would seem out of their province appealing for misdeeds that have no bearing on them.
 This is the Biblical device where a word is spelled one way and read a different way, often times they may sound the same but have two opposite meanings. In all cases however, a vital lesson is being surreptitiously taught.
 Although two more reasons are given there, each one of the reasons given stand alone and, as we will now demonstrate, many seem to that have a common link. For a historical account of these moments in our history see Artscroll Talmud there ff.
 See note above. We can make a case for the other answers given in the Talmud supporting our theses, however, to some, it may seem forced and, again, we are not obligated to connect all the approaches of several Amorim, rather we have shown that many seem tied together.
35 So as not appear
longwinded we have shortened a far longer essay into about 15 pages. For the
sake of brevity, however, we will end here with only a quick perusal of the
other doors we have yet to open in light of the above: 1) The
Minchas Chinuch (363), after bringing the following
Machlokoks (Yuma 85):
מכפר גם בלי
Asks; According to Rebbe, how was it ever possible for
the Temple to be destroyed? Surely the sins committed from
one Yom Kippur to the next alone would not be enough to exile the Jews.
The Minchas Chinuch answers that the Klal of עצימו של יום can not help against שנאת
חינם, which according to all of the above,
would run counter to the essence of this Day.
The Rambam 2:3, in following the view of the need of Piyrut HaChet, is
following minority opinion (see Kesef Mishnah and Rabbi Moshe
Feinstein, Moriah, Kovetz Hamoadim, pg 677); in fact even the Shulchan Aruch
does not follow that view. Leaving this aside for a moment, the Rambam (2:8)
follows another minority view, as well as argues with Rabbeinu Yona, in
stressing the need to repent every year on Yom Kippur even on that which one
has successfully repented already. The Pasuk brought to support this view is
נגדי תמיד. There are
many important difficulties with this law: 1- Why does the Rambam follow the
minority opinion? 2- Why do both he and the Talmud teach this law regarding
repentance on Yom Kippur, would it not apply at all times? This is
compounded when we consider the Pasuk brought ...נגדי
whatever the obligation being taught it is not a once a year concern.
3- The Pasuk brought seems bazaar, if the sins have been returned and indeed
כזכויות why would a Pasuk
be proof or relevant to the discussion of “honorary” Teshuvah? 4- And
finally, what could possibly be gained by this return and repeated
confession? Returning to our question of Reuvein we may suggest the
following: Ruevein was the first to repent on his own-not waiting for the
day G-d appears to him and reprimanded his deed. The Chet the Talmud asks us
to continually repent for is the Chet of waiting initially for Yom
Kippur to come around to return, and, as we know, to rectify a deed, the
same time and place is needed. This also explains why that Pasuk is apropos-
תמיד, your sins should always be on your
mind, and never should we wait until Yom Kippur (see Yom Kippur Droshos
5768/Yizkor/MT @ http://www.yibuffalo.org/divrei_torah/Yom_Kippur_5768.pdf.
This would explain as well why the Rambam and Gemarah tell us to wait until
the next Yom Kippur to repent again-we are repenting for Viddoy Peh on a
past Yom Kippur not for a specific sin per se. More to follow…
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