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Letter & Spirit - Personal and Public Correspondence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Send Us Your Letters Letter & Spirit - Personal and Public Correspondence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

A letter addressed to a group of students.

Tishrei 7, 5713
Sept. 25, 1952

The Ten Days of Teshuva – Repentance – which begin with the two days of Rosh Hashana and continue through their culmination point, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, are the ten days of the inauguration of the new year. Between these three most solemn days of the year we are given a period of seven days, containing every day of the week: one Sunday, one Monday, and so forth. This complete week, neither more nor less, is given to us to enable us to atone and repent for any wrong deeds accounted for during the previous year, and to better our way of life in the new year. That we have been given a complete week in which to accomplish this is significant: Spending the Sunday of this week as we should, and making the most of the time, serves as a repentance and atonement especially for all the wrong done on all the Sundays of the previous year; the same for all the Mondays of the past year on the Monday of this week, and so on.

However, repentance implies two essential conditions: regret for the past and resolution for the future. Therefore this seven day period is also a means of planned preparation for the forthcoming year. On the Sunday of this week we should plan especially for better Sundays in the new year. This will give us the strength and ability to carry out and fulfill our obligations on the Sundays to come. Likewise with regard to the Monday of this week, and all the rest of it.

In thinking of ourselves alone, however, we would only deal with part of our obligations. As I have emphasized many times in the past, one should not and must not be content with leading a proper Jewish life personally, in one's own home and family. One must recognize and fulfill a duty to the environment in a way of influencing everyone in it to adhere to the Torah and to its precepts. This duty is particularly required of youth, in whom G‑d has bestowed an extra measure of natural energy, enabling them to become leaders, particularly among their own youth groups, to inspire others in the ways of our Torah and Torah-true way of life.

I hope and pray that everyone of you will become a leader and source of good influence in your environment, leading Jews, and Jewish youth particularly, to a true Jewish life, a life of happiness, a life where its spiritual and material aspects are properly balanced. Such perfect harmony of the spiritual and material can only be found in the Torah and Mitzvoth, and in the light of the Torah you will lead your colleagues and friends to true happiness.

G‑d Bless you and your respective families with a Chasimo and Gmar Chasimo Toivo.

M. Schneerson

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Yisroel Cary February 3, 2014

Re: The Talmud discusses how Yom Kippur and its prayers only atone for those sins between a person and G-d but when we wrong another we must ask forgiveness from them.

The Code of Jewish Law 606:1 discusses how if we therefore want to be forgiven on Yom Kippur for our actions committed against another person, we must ask forgiveness from them. Reply

Diann St. Louis,MO January 26, 2014

Yom Kippur and forgiveness My question: Where is it written for Yom Kippur the practice to repent to the person you have harmed by your words or actions, and ask for their forgiveness,
I know it is important to repent all year long for anyone you have harmed.
Is it written in our Torah, and which of the 5 books is it written? In our Talmud?
Is it considered a mitzvah to repent and ask for forgiveness for your wrongful speech or actions toward someone? I am a Jewish writer and want to write the correct information for my readers. Thank you for your help.. Reply

jeff friedman Leawood, KS September 26, 2012

yom Kippur 9.26.12 I adopt the truth that the time to repent for doing somebody wrong is right at the point of the wrongdoing and not weeks, month, or years later. As a humanistic Jew, I prefer to observe Yom Kippur taking inventory (self-reflection) with a forward-looking intent to make myself a better person in my community and my world. Reply

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