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Confessions: Kishinu Oref

In the Second Gate of The Gates of Repentance, #2, Rabbeinu Yonah describes the first path available for someone to repent: When many troubles come upon a man he should commune with his heart, acknowledging that they are the fruits of his ways and actions and that his sins have brought them upon him. One who does not turn away from his evil in the day of evil – if he is reproved with suffering and does not return to the Chastiser – his transgression is magnified. As it says, “If you walk with Me as if nothing matters, then so shall I walk with you.” (Leviticus 26:21)

A person who refuses to pay attention to what happens to him, and to consider that perhaps his suffering is caused by his mistakes and poor decisions, he is being Stiff-neched – Kishinu Oref. A person who does not believe that God is actively involved in his life is Kishinu Oref.

Kishinu Oref addresses the person who believes that the things that happen to him do not matter. Such a person can cause someone to withdraw from him.

The fact that we can never be sure about each thing that happens to us is because we have been Kishinu Oref. Why are we not sure? Because we no longer know how involved God is in our lives. We may have caused Him to withdraw.

ToolsTikkun/Achieving Greatness

Paying attention to all that happens.

Be willing to consider the possibility that even minor suffering is a chastisement.

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