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Daily Mitzvah

Day 17: Positive Commandment 73

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Positive Commandment 73 (Digest)
Confessing Sins

"And he shall confess that he has sinned"Leviticus 5:5.

One who has sinned is obligated to verbally confess and say, "Please, G‑d, I have sinned by doing..." The individual should then elaborate to the best of his ability and ask G‑d for atonement. This mitzvah applies whether the sin was against G‑d or against a fellow man.

Even in the times of the Holy Temple when a person would bring a sin-offering to attain forgiveness, he was still required to orally confess his sin. The same for those who were guilty of capital offenses, they were asked to confess their sin prior to their execution.

Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
When the Children of Israel they stood at the shore of the sea and saw the Egyptian armies closing in behind them, they split into four groups. One faction said, "Let us cast ourselves into the sea." A second faction said, "Let us return to Egypt." A third said, "Let us wage war against the Egyptians." A fourth said, "Let us cry out to G-d." But G-d rejected all four approaches and said to Moses, "Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward"
  –Midrash Mechilta
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