Extra Prayer in Leap Year


In a leap year, we add a verse to the Rosh Chodesh Amidah for the forgiveness of willful sin. Does that mean that G-d only forgives willful sin during leap years? Does that mean that those who die during leap years go to their graves more forgiven for willful sin than those who die during non-leap years?

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  1. Interestingly enough, even though the prevalent custom is to say the words “and atonement for willful sin” only in a leap year (and only until the month of the second Adar), there are a few communities whose custom is to recite it every Rosh Chodesh, regardless of whether it is a leap year or not.

    In any event, the phrase is definitely not to be understood as meaning that one can reach atonement only in a leap year. I once heard an explanation that the reason it is inserted is because in a leap year there is an extra month for people to sin in!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team