Ask the Rabbi

  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Repentance



Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

8 Kislev 5767
I have made a number of serious transgressions that landed me in hot water recently (no harm to anyone else). Without question, I recognize the error of my ways and accept responsibility for them. None the less, I want (ask) to be judged fairly. My problem which becomes my question is can I ask for forgiveness or strength to accept an outcome when many much more pious Jews have suffered so greatly without committing any serious transgression? It has overtaken me emotionally thinking that I should pray to HaShem for help when others who have done nothing wrong have been slaughtered in shul during pograms. Do you have any thoughts or readings that I can do privately in addition to Parshot and Pirke Avot which I regularly read?
It has taken me a while to answer this, as I have given it some thought. One of the greatest challenges of Emunah is the solid belief that we are worthy of Hashem's forgiveness. The fact that the Tanach is so full of HaShem's promise that He does forgive us may be an indication of the inherent difficulty. There is an explanation (I heard it from Rav Shlomo Carlebach) that the reason we begin the evening service after Yom Kippur with the word "And He , the merciful, forgives sin" even though all our sins are already forgiven that day, is because of the sin that we do not truly believe that G-d can forgive us. Each generation serves HaShem according to the context of the generation. Ours, with so much wealth and comfort, yet with much tragedy and sorrow as well, must find the strgnth to serve HaShem with the challenges and blessings he has given us. I highly reccomend "On Repentance", Rav Soloveichik's drashot on Teshuva, translated by Pinchas Peli, as well as reading and learning Tehillim which teach the way to feel coleness to HaShem in every situation.
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