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Igeret HaTeshuvah: Chapter 1 - Part 1

Tammuz 7

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Pat November 29, 2012

punishment The 13th attribute, according to my understanding, is the one before the notion of punishment, that is, all 13 attributes have to do with mercy and forgiveness. Gd reserves punishment to Himself in particular when people transgress negative commandments without witnesses that can render them liable to bes din and execution. Yom Kippur atones for people's sins toward Gd; to atone for their sins toward others they need to compensate them and in a true spirit of humility ask for the person's forgiveness. I don't know about your other issues, are they addressed in the other part of this chapter? Reply

Ed Moats Arlington, WA June 30, 2012

Igeret HaTeshuvah: Chapter 1 - Part 1 Rabbi Gordon,

Five Questions:

1. Sin dirties the soul and suffering cleanses it. Hence the role of punishment is cleansing. Question#1: Is this why HaShem reserved to himself punishment as the 13th attribute?

2. Suppose a person transgresses a negative mitzvah and then sincerely engages the three Rs of the lower level of teshuvah. Question#2: Is the person then forgiven, but still dirty?

3&4. You said that negative experiences are atonement. So I gather than atonement means wiping clean. Question#3: Does full participation in Yom Kipper cleanse the soul of its sin dirt without the necessity of sufferening? Question#4: Does this participation effect the higher level of teshuvah?

5. Ps 15:2 says only the holy may dwell with HaShem. But Ez 18:21-23 specifies sufficient conditions up which the "wicked" will "live and not die". Question#5: Are these conditions equivalent to both the lower and the higher levels of teshuvah?

Thank You,
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