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Section: Moadim   Category: Yom Kippur
Rav Yisroel Salanter - Teshuva On The Same Aveiros Year, After Year, After Year....
The Rambam says that real teshuva means that Hashem, who knows the secrets of your heart, must testify that you will never return to the aveira again. That is a tall order! Most people would not even be comfortable testifying on themselves. How can we do teshuva if it requires a 100% guarantee on the future?

Reb Yisroel Sanlanter answers with a question on this Rambam. He asks why does he say, Hashem "who knows what is hidden in the heart". Shouldn't it say "who knows the future." Therefore he explains that the requirement of the Rambam is that a person must resolve honestly in the depths of his heart that will never do the aveira again. If he makes an honest resolution and really believes that he is so disgusted by the aveira that there is absolutely no possibility for him to slip yet again his teshuva is accepted. Even if he reverts to his old ways it does not negate the teshuva that he has done. That is why the Rambam says you need the testimony of Hashem who knows what thoughts lie in the heart of every man.

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Visitor Comments: 2

RS, Gateshead, 2011-10-04 10:06:34
I recently heard from an Odom Godol that, contrary to what we might imagine, it is much harder to do a proper 'charoto' than a 'kabolo lehabo'.
The latter entails making a serious, sincere undertaking never to repeat the aveiro.
This is far from easy to do properly, but many do succeed.
However, we tend to bluff ourselves with regard to genuine charoto. If we REALLY regret... can we still sleep at night? True remorse should show itself in a similar way to someone who parked his brand-new luxury limosine near a raging river without ensuring that the hand-brake was fully engaged, or the business tycoon who blew all his money on a foolish scam. These people are EATEN UP by their sense of guilt and remorse. This should pale into insignificance when compared to a baal teshuva who realises what damaged was caused by his misdeeds!
May we all merit to achieve a Teshuva Sheleima!
GS, Chicago, 2011-10-05 10:11:47
Do you have the exact location of where Rav Yisroel says this? I recall reading this years ago in the back pages of Ohr Yisroel and haven't been able to find it since. However, the way I recall, Rav Yisroel goes on to say that if one can't earnestly say that his commitment is forever, and many of of us can't - knowing that it hasn't worked year in, year out - his eitza is to accept a small part of a tikun, with the plan to build on it. And that small part should be a kabala forever.

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