Hi Rabbi, I have a spiritual question. I have read in the talmud something like "the person who sins thinking they will be forgiven on the day of atonement, the day of atonement then does not atone for him" and "he who says ’I will sin and repent, I will sin and repent,’ no repentance is available to him." I am worried because I have done both those things, and sometimes still do them, am wondering if there is any repentance available to me, if there is any way God will forgive me. Can you please help me? Thanks
The rule is that true and sincere regretting always works. The Chassidic masters explain that even when the rabbis tell us that in a certain situation, no forgiveness or atonement is possible, that is precisely part of the test! If nevertheless, even under such circumstances, a person still sincerely asks forgiveness, he is forgiven, for he is repenting in the most genuine way (not just to erase the sin and avoid its punishment, but out of true regret, even if he is told that it’s too late)! Nevertheless, it must be stressed that even our Loving Father only forgives (where there is earnest regret and resolve not to sin again), if you also ask forgiveness from your neighbor (if your transgression hurt another person). This takes a lot of courage, but otherwise, you haven’t really “fixed” what was wrong. In fact, it’s customary on Yom Kippur to do exactly that, for everyone to go around and ask forgiveness from anyone whom they may have wronged. Thus, the world will be a much nicer place for all!