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A Most Compassionate Confession

Morning Prayers; Mishna Zevachim, Chapter 5 is recited as our daily study of Mishnah for a number of reasons, including the fact it is the only chapter in Mishnah in which there is no halachic dispute. It is the perfect chapter of Mishnah to study in the merit of all members of a community to live without conflict:


“Which is the place [for the offering] of the sacrifices? Most holy sacrifices are slaughtered on the north [side of the altar].”



This Yom Kippur I discovered another powerful advantage for daily study of this study of Mishnah in the merit of all those with whom I study:


Yom Kippur Confession:

And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a burnt-offering.38A burnt-offering is brought for failure to fulfill any positive commandment, e.g, putting on non-kosher tefillin.

And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a sin-offering.39A sin-offering is brought for unintentionally transgressing any prohibitive commandment punishable by excision (כָּרֵת) if it were done with intent.

And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a “fluctuating” offering.40The fluctuating offering is an offering that varies in value according to the financial means of the individual who brings it. (The literal meaning of עוֹלָה וְיוֹרֵד, is “go up and down”). This type of offering is brought when a person swore falsely (unintentionally) concerning something he did or did not do. For example, one may have thought he ate something and consequently swore that he ate it, but in reality he did not and thus he swore falsely.

And for sins for which we are obligated to bring a guilt-offering for certain or for doubtful trespasses.


Although I already have an understanding with my future Cohen not to announce over the Temple intercom, “Prepare 5k sacrifices for Simcha Weinberg for x number of sin offerings, y number of burnt offerings and z number of “fluctuating,” offerings, I am well aware that I alone will keep a full shift of Cohanim busy.

I appreciate the opportunity to use my Yom Kippur confession to save of the farm animals in the Middle East.

The problem is that we recite this confession in the plural and I cannot bear to think of anyone I know having to bring these offerings!

But, all the offerings are familiar to me from my morning prayers, “Which is the place [for the offering] of the sacrifices?” They are recited each morning in love and respect for all those with whom I study Hashem’s Torah. I naturally recited each of these, “And for sins for which we are obligated to bring,” with compassion for my friends. Understanding. No judgement.

It became a most compassionate Confession for them…

And for me.



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