Yom Kippur: A Total Cleanse?

Question

Does yom kippur cleanse completely of our sins, or does it simply switch our sins to a lower level of transgression?

, 5 months

Answers

  1. In general, there is a form of repentance that is called Teshuva Gemurah – complete Teshuva. This results in absolute forgiveness, but Teshuva that is not on that level will be forgiven commensurately. However, because Hashem judges each person in an absolute way, this means that Hashem takes absolutely every detail into account, including the difficulty that each person has with asking for forgiveness.

    How does one know if the Teshuva is complete or not? They don’t. But, it is better to never know if the Teshuva was Teshuva Gemurah rather than to know that it wasn’t. Of course, this is all theoretical. According to all the commentaries, the most basic prerequisite for Teshuva is an awareness that something requires rectification. If the person in question has not apologized for his actions and has not asked his victims for forgiveness, he has not begun the process of Teshuva.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team