Thursday, March 22, 2007

admitting and atoning

Parshat Va'Yikra

In 5:1-6 the Torah describes certain sins that when made aware of them he then brings a korban to atone. The passuk says, " וְנֶפֶשׁ כִּי-תֶחֱטָא, וְשָׁמְעָה קוֹל אָלָה, וְהוּא עֵד, אוֹ רָאָה אוֹ יָדָע; אִם-לוֹא יַגִּיד, וְנָשָׂא עֲו‍ֹנוֹ. ב אוֹ נֶפֶשׁ, אֲשֶׁר תִּגַּע בְּכָל-דָּבָר טָמֵא, אוֹ בְנִבְלַת חַיָּה טְמֵאָה אוֹ בְּנִבְלַת בְּהֵמָה טְמֵאָה, אוֹ בְּנִבְלַת שֶׁרֶץ טָמֵא; וְנֶעְלַם מִמֶּנּוּ, וְהוּא טָמֵא וְאָשֵׁם. ג אוֹ כִי יִגַּע, בְּטֻמְאַת אָדָם, לְכֹל טֻמְאָתוֹ, אֲשֶׁר יִטְמָא בָּהּ; וְנֶעְלַם מִמֶּנּוּ, וְהוּא יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם. ד אוֹ נֶפֶשׁ כִּי תִשָּׁבַע לְבַטֵּא בִשְׂפָתַיִם לְהָרַע אוֹ לְהֵיטִיב, לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יְבַטֵּא הָאָדָם בִּשְׁבֻעָה--וְנֶעְלַם מִמֶּנּוּ; וְהוּא-יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם, לְאַחַת מֵאֵלֶּה. ה וְהָיָה כִי-יֶאְשַׁם, לְאַחַת מֵאֵלֶּה: וְהִתְוַדָּה--אֲשֶׁר חָטָא, עָלֶיהָ. ו וְהֵבִיא אֶת-אֲשָׁמוֹ לַיהוָה עַל חַטָּאתוֹ אֲשֶׁר חָטָא ..." and in English, "1 And if any one sin, in that he heareth the voice of adjuration,...or if any one touch any unclean thing,... or if any one swear clearly with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall utter clearly with an oath, and it be hid from him; and, when he knoweth of it, be guilty in one of these things; 5 and it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that wherein he hath sinned; 6 and he shall bring his forfeit unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, "

It is not just enough to admit your mistake, and it is not just enough to go through the motions of atonement by bringing a korban.

You have to admit your mistake and bring the korban.

Sometimes we do something and then think that just by saying "sorry" we have fulfilled our obligations to the person we hurt. The Torah says it is not enough. You have to admit your mistake and take action to atone for it.

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