Among [the 24] are five deeds which cause the paths of Teshuvah to be locked before those who commit them. They are:
a) One who separates himself from the community; when they repent, he will not be together with them and he will not merit to share in their merit.
b) One who contradicts the words of the Sages; the controversy he provokes will cause him to cut himself off from them and, thus, he will never know the ways of repentance.
c) One who scoffs at the mitzvoth; since he considers them as degrading, he will not pursue them or fulfill them. If he does not fulfill mitzvot, how can he merit [to repent]?
d) One who demeans his teachers; this will cause them to reject and dismiss him as [Elishah did to] Gechazi. In this period of rejection, he will not find a teacher or guide to show him the path of truth.
e) One who hates admonishment; this will not leave him a path for repentance. Admonishment leads to Teshuvah. When a person is informed about his sins and shamed because of them, he will repent. Accordingly, [rebukes are] included in the Torah, [for example]:
”Remember, do not forget, that you provoked [God, your Lord, in the desert. From the day you left Egypt until here,] you have been rebelling....”(Deuteronomy 9:7).
”[Until this day,] God did not give you a heart to know....” (Deuteronomy 29:3).
”[Is this the way you repay God,] you ungrateful, unwise nation” (Deuteronomy 2:6).
Similarly, Isaiah rebuked Israel, declaring: “Woe, sinful nation, [people laden with iniquity...]” (Isaiah 1:4),
”The ox knows its owner, [and the ass, his master's crib. Israel does not know...]” (ibid.: 1:3),
I know you are obstinate... (ibid. 48:4).
God also commanded him to admonish the transgressors as [ibid. 58:1] states: "Call out from your throat, do not spare it." Similarly, all the prophets rebuked Israel until she repented. Therefore, it is proper for each and every congregation in Israel to appoint a great sage of venerable age, with [a reputation of] fear of heaven from his youth, beloved by the community, to admonish the masses and motivate them to Teshuvah.
This person who hates admonishment will not come to the preacher's [lecture] or hear his words. Accordingly, he will continue his sinful [paths], which he regards as good.