Mitzvah 364 – Concept 75 Teshuvah Part One
A Sinner Should Repent From His Sin Before God and Confess1
“God spoke to Moses, saying; ‘Speak to the Children of Israel: a man or woman who commits any of man’s sins, by committing treachery toward God, and that person shall become guilty- they shall confess their sin that they committed.”2
“The hidden sins are for God, our Lord, but the revealed sins are for us and our children forever, to carry out all the words of His Torah.”3
“It will be that when all these things come upon you- the blessing and the curse that I have presented before you-then you shall take it to your heart among all the nations where God, your Lord, has dispersed you; and you will return unto God, your Lord, and listen to His voice, according to everything that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and all your soul. Then God, your Lord, will bring back your captivity and have mercy upon you, and He will gather you in from all the peoples to which God, your Lord, has scattered you….God, your Lord, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, to love God, your Lord, with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”4
Different Types of Sins:
There are sins of opportunities missed such as not saying Shema. This is a vacuum that is almost impossible to fill.5 One who fails to do Teshuva for having missed an opportunity to perform a Mitzvah is called wicked and his sacrifices are not accepted.6 Fasting is our form of sacrifice. In order for our fasting to be effective we must repent for those Mitzvot we had the opportunity to perform but did not.
Even an inadvertent sin needs Teshuva; if we had taken proper care it would not have happened.
There are sins that we commit because we are overcome with desire. The Teshuva is to be directed against the desire more than the actual sin when we are working on ourselves. When we are focusing on wronging God we must emphasize the actual sin.
There are sins that we commit in open defiance of God. We must first repair the relationship before we attempt to repair the sin.
One must do Teshuva for not having fulfilled the purpose of his creation.
The confession serves the purpose of reducing the chance that the person will repeat the sin.7
One must say, “I am no longer the person I was. I want to be an entirely new creation.”8
One must cry out to God in pain over the damage one has caused to the relationship.9