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Daily Mitzvah

Day 19: Positive Commandment 73

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Important Message Regarding This Lesson

The Daily Mitzvah schedule runs parallel to the daily study of 3 chapters of Maimonides' 14-volume code. There are instances when the Mitzvah is repeated a few days consecutively while the exploration of the same Mitzvah continues in the in-depth track.

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
"I will make your progeny like the dust of the earth" (G-d's blessing to Abraham, Genesis 13:17). Just as the dust of the earth is from one end of the world to the other, so, too, will your children be scattered from one end of the world to the other. Just as dust is treaded upon by all, so, too, your children are destined to be treaded upon by the nations. Just as the dust of the earth is made fertile only with water, so, too, the people of Israel are blessed only in the merit of the Torah which is analogous to water. Just as dust erodes all metal utensils while it itself lasts forever, so is it with Israel: all idolatrous nations disintegrate, while they persist.
  –Midrash Rabbah
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