Viduy with helpful explanations from Ner Echad

 viduy-translated-a

from Ner Echad

 

 

The Yom Kippur Viduy/Confession

 

Translated and explained in a fashion intended to present the viduy as an aid to self improvement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Sources were not quoted since this was not originally compiled with the intent of public distribution. In general, the explanations presented are based on the classic commentators, as well as the teachings of the great masters of Mussar of the last generations.

 

 


אלקינו ואלקי אבותינו– Our G-d and G-d of our fathers: As we approach, we grasp the coattails of our great ancestors, like a young child who is afraid to approach the king alone.

 

תבא לפניך תפילתנו– Let our prayer come before you, even though our sins have formed barriers that separate us from you

(עי’ ביאור הגר”א- יעלה ויבא).

 

ואל תתעלם מתחינתנו– and do not disregard our plea: תחינה, the Hebrew word used for “plea” denotes an undeserved request- we beg even though we acknowledge that we are undeserving.

 

שאין אנו עזי פנים– for we are not brazen: unashamed.

 

וקשי עורף– and stubborn: unwilling to accept admonition,

 

לומר לפניך צדיקים אנחנו ולא חטאנו– which would cause us to say, “we are righteous and have not sinned”

 

אבל אנחנו ואבותינו חטאנו– but rather [we acknowledge that] we and our fathers have sinned. We confess the sins of our fathers as well as our own, based on the principle that we are punished for the sins of our ancestors if we continue their faulty ways, and therefore we must atone for their sins as well. This is also an acknowledgement of the fact that although previous generations may have gone unpunished for their wrongdoings, this does not mean that they got away with it; we, their children may be suffering the consequences of their sins.

Another explanation for this confession is that the job of all mankind is to rectify the sin of Adam Harishon (our original father), and to thus bring the world back to its perfect state. We therefore acknowledge that the fact that this has not yet been achieved is due to our shortcomings. In this respect, the sin of Adam Harishon is held against us.

 

אשמנו– We have been at fault. We acknowledge that we have no excuse; only we are to blame for our sins, and we take full responsibility. This is the most basic beginning of teshuvah; as long as we are not capable of facing our responsibility for our actions, teshuvah—and atonement—are beyond us.

 

בגדנו– We have betrayed. Our continued existence and well-being is completely dependent on Hashem’s continuing to maintain us. Any sin is a gross betrayal of Hashem’s kindness, as the sin is done at the very moment that Hashem is intensely busy caring for you and benefiting you in countless ways (see Tomer Devorah).

 

גזלנו– We have stolen. This includes transgression of all money related halachos. Money-related halachos are very complex, and can easily be transgressed inadvertently. Examples of points that require attention are paying for work on time, and being careful not to rob your employer of any time coming to him. In the same way, people working for others must be very careful not to use any office supplies or other such things for personal use, unless they are permitted to do so.

 

דברנו דופי– We have spoken “dofi”. This means degrading words, putting other down (from the word “להדוף”- to push away). Another meaning is insincere and misleading talk (from the word דו-פי- two mouths; saying one thing and thinking something else).

 

העוינו– We have distorted. The word “עוון”, which is generally translated as “sin”, comes from the word “עיוות”- to twist, or distort. When we wanted to do aveiros, we justified it with twisted and distorted reasoning. העוינו may also mean that we caused others to sin.

 

והרשענוAnd we have become wrongdoers. As a result of twisting logic (העוינו) in order to justify our faults and desires, we have developed bad routines and habits that define us as wrongdoers. The “and” indicates that this is a result of “העוינו”.

 

זדנו– We sinned knowingly. While sinning, we knew it was wrong.

 

חמסנו– We have seized forcefully. One is guilty of this even if he paid for what he took. This includes any sort of coercion or pressure. If you request of someone to give, lend or sell you something, knowing that he is not doing so willingly, it is forbidden to pressure him in any way.

 

טפלנו שקר– We have attached falsehood [to truth]. This means exaggerating or embellishing. It also means that we mixed wrong intentions into good deeds.

 

יעצנו רע– We have given bad counsel. This includes two aspects; 1- we counseled people to do aveiros, 2- when consulted, we gave advice that suited our own purposes, but was not to the absolute benefit of the person asking. [If giving someone else correct counsel for his own benefit conflicts with your interests, you may abstain entirely, or try to work things out with him. But it is absolutely forbidden to give him counsel according to your interests rather than his (Mesillas Yesharim).]

 

כזבנו– We were not faithful to our word (kazav). The difference between sheker and kazav is that sheker is false in the first place, whereas kazav is a promise or commitment made (whether toward Hashem or people) with the intent of fulfilling it, but in the end was not fulfilled. People will sometimes say things that are comfortable at the moment (e.g. “I’ll do it later”) without much thought, and in many cases don’t end up carrying it out.

 

לצנו– We scoffed. Scoffers are listed by Chazal as one of the types of people that will not be permitted into Hashem’s presence. Rabbeinu Yonah defines several degrees of scoffers (listed in order of severity):

  1. A person who makes fun of others without any personal gain. This results from two character faults; plain bad nature, and arrogance (one who is aware of his own faults won’t be quick to put others down).
  2. A person who holds others in contempt since they are not as successful as he. Besides being arrogant, this person lacks the fundamental belief that Hashem is the one who granted him better fortune than them.
  3. A person who jests and makes light of good things and endeavors that others do (“oh, look at those do-gooders, embarking on another holy crusade”), even though he does not seriously deny their importance or look down on the people involved. This behavior causes him and those who hear him to lose their respect for good things, and as a result, they will be distanced from growth. It will also prevent him from accepting admonition and instruction. This is also caused by arrogance, which does not allow one to feel or express respect for the ideas or opinions of others.
  4. A person who regularly engages in empty chatter; a gossip. There are two problems with this behavior. First, too much talking inevitably leads to forbidden types of talk. Second, the excessive waste of time, which is bittul Torah.
  5. An overly frivolous person who generally tends to make light of things without really meaning it.

 

מרדנו– We rebelled. This means to cast off the yolk of the “encumbrances” of the service of Hashem. This can manifest in various degrees, as this does not necessarily mean completely abandoning Torah observance. If a person decides that he needs a break, and therefore completely lets loose and lowers his spiritual standards, this is a form of casting off the yolk of Hashem, or in other words, rebelling. Even when one does need to relax, it must be done in a thought out and disciplined way that does not conflict with his spiritual standards.

 

נאצנו– We have angered [you]. This refers to demonstrating that we are not bothered with the fact that we have done wrong, either by boasting about wrongdoing (Chazal say that it is a chutzpah to publicize one’s sins—it expresses a lack of mortification), or by perverting logic to such an extent that we actually feel self-righteous about things that displease Hashem.

 

סררנו– We have turned away. We did not cling to the path of service of Hashem, i.e. we allowed ourselves to become distracted from focusing on constant growth.

This also means that the plenty that Hashem gave us caused us to ignore Hashem.

 

עוינו– We have sinned. (See above- העוינו).

 

פשענו– We have done pesha. The word פשע (pesha) has two connotations. A. Rebelliousness. The difference between pesha and מרד (likewise translated as “rebellion” above) is that the mored casts off the yolk, while the poshea is not willing to accept it in the first place. This can apply even to one mitzvah or halachah that a person is not willing to relate to seriously, such as tznius, shemiras halashon, checking food for bugs, and so forth. If there is even one halachah that a person does not consider himself bound by, he is a poshea.

  1. The second connotation of pesha is careless negligence.

 

צררנו– We hurt others. This requires no elaboration.

 

קשינו עורף– We were stubborn. We refused to accept rebuke. This also includes refusal to acknowledge misfortunes as messages from Hashem, blaming it on chance instead. The Smak defines this as a true Torah prohibition – “וערפכם לא תקשו עוד” you shall not stiffen your neck anymore.

 

רשענו– We did wrong wantonly.

 

שחתנו– We ruined. This refers to idolatry (as in the pasuk“לך רד כי שחת עמך”), and immorality (as in the pasuk “ותשחת הארץ לפני האלקים”). This includes anything categorized with idolatry, such as arrogance and anger, and anything categorized with immorality, such as thoughts of women and inappropriately familiar or immodest behavior.

 

תעבנו– We abominated. We found good things unappealing. (“I’m sick of hearing about that idealistic stuff all the time”.)

 

תעינו– We strayed [from the right path].

 

סרנו ממצוותיך וממשפטיך הטובים – We turned away from Your good commandments and laws, We emphasize that we had the audacity to disregard the mitzvos even though it was You who commanded, and even though we knew that they were good, i.e. the right thing to do.

 

ולא שוה לנו – And it was worthless in our eyes. This can include a couple of meanings;

  1. The mitzvos were worthless in our eyes; we neglected doing them even when it was easy, just because we did not feel their importance.
  2. After doing aveiros, it was worthless in our eyes, meaning we now realize that it was not worth doing it.

 

ואתה צדיק על כל הבא עלינו – You are justified for anything that comes upon us, i.e. any punishments that you bring upon us.

 

כי אמת עשית – Because although it is true that you created [the yetzer hara and thereby subjected us to the temptation, nevertheless:],

 

ואנחנו הרשענו – We are in the wrong. Because we had the power to overcome the temptation by means of the freewill that You granted us.

 

 

 

 

על חטא שחטאנו לפניך – For the sins that we have sinned in front of You. We note and stress the fact that the sin was committed right in front of Hashem’s eyes.

 

באונס – Against our will. Why are we confessing for sinning against our will?

  1. Even when one is forced into a sin, he should not be happy about it and enjoy it.
  2. Sometimes one is to blame for not taking enough care to avoid getting into a situation which will force him to sin.
  3. Even a sin done against one’s will needs a certain measure of atonement, because the very fact that Hashem put one into such a situation may be an indication of Divine displeasure.
  4. R’ Yisrael Salanter says that if a person sins against his will, and then at a later point does that very sin of his own accord, he will be punished for the first sin as well, since we now see that he would have done it even if he was not forced into it.
  5. Sometimes, once one knows that he is allowed to transgress a certain sin due to the prevailing circumstances, he feels that he has a free hand and ends up transgressing more than the circumstances justify.
  6. Sometimes one is too quick to decide that the circumstances allow him to transgress.

 

וברצון – And with our will. If a person does not work to align his desires and ambitions with the will of Hashem, he will constantly encounter pitfalls. Thus, we confess the fact that our wants were not in the right place.

 

באימוץ הלב – By hardening our heart. This includes all forms of cruelty, callousness, and insensitivity to the feelings and suffering of others.

Also included in this is that when we sin, we tend to harden our heart and refuse to fully acknowledge our guilt by playing down the sin with different excuses etc.

 

בבלי דעת – Through lack of awareness. Sinning as a result of lack of awareness is considered careless neglect if you could have known better.

This is also a confession of the very fact that you do not know as much Torah as could be expected of you. This is a sin in itself.

This is also a confession of our failing to note that occurrences in our lives or around us are from Hashem with a message intended.

This also denotes any behavior that results from thoughtlessness or lack of consideration (not just blatant thoughtlessness, but also not thinking things through properly, and not treating a situation properly as a result), whether towards Hashem or towards people.

 

בביטוי שפתיים – By expression of the mouth. This includes any sort of hurtful or offensive talk. It also includes verbal commitments that were not honored, whether toward Hashem or people. It also includes expressing yourself disrespectfully to or about Hashem, the Torah, or others that you are obligated to respect.

 

בגלוי – In the open. In certain respects, this is worse than sinning in seclusion. First, it involves public disgracing of Hashem’s name. Second, others may be influenced.

 

ובסתר – And in seclusion. In a way this is worse than sinning publicly, because it shows that you are more intimidated of people than of Hashem.

 

בגילוי עריות – By immorality. This includes even the fine points of immorality, such as inappropriately familiar behavior, and even just looking at women, or (for women) inappropriate dress.

 

בדיבור פה – By speech of the mouth. The power of speech is differentiates man from animal. Speech is the expression of the intellect, which is the manifestation of the divine soul within us. Misusing speech is a major sacrilege. This includes any form of forbidden speech, such as speaking negatively about others, strife, glorifying oneself at the expense of others, hurtful and offensive words, expressions of anger, revealing others’ private affairs, excessive frivolity in a shul, speaking during davening, lying and dishonesty, speaking of forbidden weekday affairs on Shabbos, etc.

This could also include speaking with Hashem (i.e. davening) with your mouth alone (speech of the mouth), without any inner involvement and feeling.

 

בדעת – With intellect. This means that we do not live up to our intellectual understanding. It also means that we use our intellect – which is a manifestation of the divine presence within us, given to us for the purpose of achieving perfection and greatness – for the wrong purposes.    

 

ובמרמה – With deceit. This includes any form of deceiving people, such as insincere flattery for personal motives. Also included in this is allowing ourselves to be lured into wrongdoing by justifying it to ourselves in various ways, while deep inside we realize that we are deceiving ourselves.

 

בהרהור הלב – With thoughts of the heart. This includes any forbidden thoughts, such as conceit, women, heresy, grudges, envy, bitterness against Hashem, unjustly suspecting innocent people, and Torah thoughts in filthy places.

 

בהונאת רע – By hurting or distressing others. Whether in money matters or by hurting their feelings.

 

בוידוי פה – With confession of the mouth. i.e. with the mouth alone; without a serious commitment to forsake the sin we are confessing. This may also be referring to publicly announcing your sins, which Chazal deem audacious.

 

בועידת זנות – With immoral gatherings. This refers to any gathering which involves mingling of the sexes in a way that does not abide by the required guidelines of modesty. Also included in this is secluding oneself with someone of the opposite gender in a forbidden way.

 

בזדון ובשגגה – Whether deliberately or inadvertently. A sin committed inadvertently also requires atonement.

 

בזלזול הורים – By acting with disrespect towards parents This includes failing to honor them properly by standing in their honor etc.; or showing disrespect by contradicting them etc. The halachos of honoring parents are detailed and not necessarily so easy. They need to be conscientiously studied and reviewed.

 

ומורים – And teachers. This includes your teacher who taught you Torah even if he is not an outstanding scholar. It also includes anyone capable of ruling on halachic matters even if he is not your teacher. This also includes the obligation to rise before an elderly man (over the age of 70) even if he is not a scholar, and before a Talmid Chacham even if he is not elderly.

 

בחוזק יד – With strength of the hand. This includes any sort of injustice done to another because of the fact that you are more powerful than him. It also includes forcing or pressuring someone to do something they do not want to do and are not obligated to do, just because you have the power to force or pressure them into it. This is especially applicable to spouses, parents, employers and siblings.

Also included in this is a person who neglects to use his power, strength or capabilities to assist people who need his help, or to assist mitzvah endeavors that would have benefited through his involvement. In these circumstances his strength is actually to his detriment, since he neglected to use it for the purpose for which it was given to him.

Also included in this is one who accredits his successes to his own strengths and capabilities and does not acknowledge that Hashem is the One who made it possible.

 

בחילול השם – By profaning the Name. A sin committed publicly causes a weakening of faith and the Name of Hashem is profaned, making the sin that much worse. This includes any person who does not act in accordance with the standards that he represents, even if what he did is not a sin in the literal sense.

Another form of Chilul Hashem is transgressing a sin when no benefit or pleasure accrues to you. This is a gross demonstration of disregard for Hashem.

Anything done to cause Hashem to be taken more lightly or to cause any kind of disgrace to Him is considered a Chilul Hashem. In this context, the Poskim point out a form of Chilul Hashem that might be done in an innocent and well-meaning way. When people print verses or names of Hashem on letters, invitations, decorations, etc. in many instances it results in the verses ending up in the garbage or being mistreated in some other way. This too is a form of Chilul Hashem. One should avoid printing Torah verses or names of Hashem in a fashion that it is likely to end up being treated improperly.

Another form of Chilul Hashem is saying Hashem’s name in vain in any language.

 

בטפשות פה – With stupidity of the mouth. Idle chatter that amounts to nothing other than wasted time.

 

בטומאת שפתיים – With impurity if the lips. Using vulgar language. Mesilas Yesharim defines this as immorality of the mouth.

 

ביצר הרע – With the evil inclination. We confess to having incited the yetzer hara upon ourselves. Sometimes a person is overcome by a temptation that he was not looking for. However, sometimes a person consciously puts himself into a situation of temptation. An example of this is going to places that present temptations, such as theaters or places with excessive mingling, or by reading material that contains immoral content.

 

ביודעין ובלא יודעין – With knowledge and without knowledge. We confess to having caused harm to people whether or not they are aware about the harm we have caused them, or that we were responsible for the harm.

 

בכפת שוחד – Through the influence of bribery. As opposed to translating “בכפת” as “with a palm” of bribery, i.e. extending bribery, which would apply to the giver alone, we translate “כפת” as being rooted in the word “כפייה” – “forcing”. The bribery forces, or influences, an unjust decision to be reached. We confess sins committed by the influence of bribery; this applies both to the giver and to the receiver. This is also relevant on the personal level, as our lives require constant decision-making, and we confess our decisions that were influenced by the “bribery” of our passions and desires which impaired our capability of making the right decision.

 

בכחש ובכזב – Through lying and deceit. “כחש” means to lie about the past, and “כזב” is about the future.

 

בלשון הרע – Through slander. Talking about anyone in a way that would cause him or her distress. Both the speaker and the listener are included in the sin.

 

בלצוןBy scoffing. See לצנו above.

 

במשא ובמתן – In business dealings. This includes any sort of dishonesty or underhandedness in business, including false advertising or concealing the defects of merchandise you are trying to sell.

This is also a confession that our activity with making a living diminished our trust in Hashem, and dampened the realization that everything comes from Him.

 

במאכל ובמשתה – Through food and drink. This includes carelessness with Kashrus, checking for insects, washing for bread, berachos, fasts, health, proper behavior while eating, and sharing food with the needy.

 

בנשך ובמרבית – With interest. This prohibition includes the lender, the borrower, the guarantor and the witnesses of the loan. It is important to learn the halachos in a basic way in order to at least become familiar with the issues, because questions can come up on a daily basis; in dealing with the bank, and even in dealing with neighbors, and in other such scenarios that one may not be aware of.

 

בנטית גרון – With an outstretched neck. This refers to arrogance that is outwardly apparent. Chazal say that a person who walks in too proud a fashion is “crowding out” the presence of Hashem.

 

בשקור עין – With prying eyes. Looking at forbidden things, such as strange women or private letters etc.

 

בשיח שפתותינו – With the talk of our lips. The word “דבור” usually denotes purposeful speech, while “שיח” generally denotes purposeless chatter, empty of worthwhile content, especially in shul or while davening.

 

בעיניים רמות – With haughty eyes. Inner arrogance; looking down upon others.

 

בעזות מצח – With brazenness. Even when a person has to speak up and assert his opinion, he should speak with appropriate humility, especially if he is addressing people greater than himself.

 

בפריקת עול – By casting off the yolk [of Hashem’s service]. See “מרדנו” above.

 

בפלילות – With judgment. This includes the judgment that we constantly pass on others throughout our daily routine. We are required to judge people favorably and give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

בצדית רע – By ensnaring others. This means to cause others any sort of harm. Even if one intended to cause harm but did not succeed, atonement is required. Also included in this is one who ensnares the heart of others to gain their admiration, either in order to take advantage of them, or for any other ulterior motive.

 

בצרות עין – With narrow eyes. This means utterly self-centered; unable to see beyond oneself. This includes stinginess, but even worse is the trait of not being willing to give or do for people more than what’s coming to them “on principle” (the word “principle” is, in many cases, synonymous with bad middos). Also included in this is the trait of being disturbed by the good fortune or success of others.

 

בקלות ראש – With lightheadedness. This includes excessive frivolity, which almost always results in lessening one’s spiritual standards of speech and respectability. It also includes feeling too comfortable and familiar in inappropriate circumstances, such as while conversing with a strange woman, in a shul, or while wearing tefillin.

 

בקשיות עורף – With stiffened necks. This means making yourself unmovable in the face of exterior stimulants meant to inspire you to change and improve. Whether others try to chastise or inspire you, whether you read sefarim exhorting you to improvement, or whether you experience troubles or see them by others, always be in a mindset of willingness to hear and accept (see above קשינו עורף).

 

בריצת רגליים להרע – With legs running to do wrong. We confess making an attempt to do wrong even if we did not succeed (running to do wrong, although no wrong was actually done).

This is also a confession for having acted impulsively on delicate issues that require thought and counsel in order to be handled properly, such as taking action against someone in circumstances that might actually permit or require it. Even when such things may be required, caution is always necessary, and we confess any mistakes that may have resulted from our impulsiveness. In addition, we confess our eagerness to carry out something that would have been better not to have to do. Even if it must be done, it should have been done with a feeling of pain – not excitement.

This is also a confession for having been a bit too eager to rush off and tend to other things during the time designated for Torah learning.

 

ברכילות – With Rechilus. Saying things that will cause strife and dissension is Rechilus. Another aspect of this is revealing others’ private affairs against their will. On the other hand, it is important to know that if one has information that can save someone else from harm, he is obligated to tell him. These halachos have very fine lines and it is important to learn them well (see sefer Chafetz Chaim).

 

בשבועת שוא – With a vain oath. It is forbidden to swear in vain even if it is true.

 

בשנאת חנם – With unwarranted hate. One who dislikes another without halachic justification transgresses a Torah prohibition. This applies even if the feeling does not show externally.

viduy-translated-a

בתשומת יד – By holding on with our hands. This means withholding debts.

 

בתמהון לבב – Through confusion of the heart. This refers to sins committed as a result of having been disoriented or in distress. One must try to maintain presence of mind even in difficult situations.

This is also a confession of having taken the words of the Chachamim lightly as a result of not having properly understood them, or heretical conclusions reached because of a lack of proper understanding. Judaism encourages questions, but there must be a sincere effort to try to find the answers; not to reach hasty conclusions based on superficial understanding. A person must also realize that some things may be beyond his understanding. It is important to be in contact with a Torah authority to whom one can address his questions.

 

ועל חטאים שאנו חייבים עליהם עולה – For sins which incur an Olah offering. This is for neglecting to fulfill positive commandments, and for transgressing prohibitions that involve no physical activity, or a prohibition that is rectified by a specific mitzvah. Some examples of these are: neglecting to wear tefillin, or wearing invalid ones as a result of carelessness, not having mezuzos on all the doors (which includes having them checked from time to time as required by halacha to ensure that they are kosher, and ensuring that they are fixed on the door properly as required by halacha), neglecting to stand before elderly people (anyone over seventy), not developing love and awe of Hashem, not doing chesed, not treating someone else as you would want to be treated, lack of respect for parents, neglecting to give tzedakah, neglecting to correct wrongdoers, neglecting to return lost articles, neglecting to make a fence around your roof as well as taking any other measures to ensure that your house is safe, and that none of your possessions (including animals) will cause any harm. It also includes revenge and bearing a grudge, wastefulness, etc.

Olah is also brought for forbidden thoughts.

 

חטאתThis is for inadvertently (by lack of knowledge) transgressing a prohibition which would incur kareis if done intentionally.

 

קרבן עולה ויורד – A Korban which is brought for more or less (depending on one’s means). One who inadvertently causes tum’ah in the Beis Hamikdash, or inadvertently swears falsely brings this Korban. Also, if a litigant suspects that you have information that would help his case, and because of your reluctance to testify you falsely swear that you have no such information, this Korban is incurred.

 

אשם ודאי – An Asham offering brought for a definite sin This is brought for swearing falsely that you do not owe someone money.

 

ותלוי – or [an Asham offering brought] for an indefinite sin. One who is in doubt if he has transgressed a prohibition that would incur kareis if committed intentionally brings this korban (e.g. Shabbos desecration during bein hashmashos).

 

מכת מרדות – Lashes for insubordination. This is incurred by transgressing a rabbinic enactment.

 

מלקות ארבעים – Forty lashes. This is incurred by actively transgressing a true Torah prohibition.

 

מיתה בידי שמים – Heavenly death penalty. Transgressions that incur this penalty include eating dough that did not have challah removed from it, a non-kohein who eats challah, or deliberately causing a seminal emission.

 

כרת וערירי – Having one’s soul cut off from eternal existence and going childless. Transgressions that incur this penalty include doing melachah or eating on Yom Kippur, eating chametz on Pesach, consuming blood or forbidden fats, having relations with a niddah before she has gone to the mikveh properly.

 

ארבע מיתות בית דין: סקילה – The four death penalties carried out by the court: stoning for violating the Shabbos or cursing one’s parent.

 

שריפה – Burning. For having relations with one’s daughter.

 

הרג – Beheading. For murder.

 

וחנק – And strangulation. For having relations with a married woman or for wounding one’s parent.

 

על מצות עשה ועל מצות לא תעשה – For positive commandments or negative commandments.[1]

 

בין שיש בה קום עשה ובין שאין בה קום עשה – Whether they involved action or inactivity. The typical positive commandment involves activity, e.g. eating matzah etc. However, some positive commandments involve inactivity, such as the command to rest on Shabbos. The same goes for prohibitions; there are some prohibitions that actually demand activity such as the prohibition to hold your hand back from giving tzedakah, or the prohibition to disregard a lost article.

Reflections on Shabbos Teshuva

After listening to amazing shiurim for Yom Kippur given by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, Rabbanit K Sarah Cohen and Rabbi Akiva Tatz, a challenge presented itself to me during the 10 days of repentance.  Hashem is testing my heart and my resolve!

 

Do I believe that He is the only thing that actually exists, that is the only value there is, that is the only power, and do I have the emunah and love for Hashem to truly release into the universal Oneness of His Compassion the chiyus, the life force, animating the negative reactions I am experiencing?  They feel so real!  They feel like truth!  They feel right! The veils of how real they feel are nothing more than layers of misplaced trust in my own personal sense that what we commonly call “I” is a powerful entity.  And this wild and often viciously felt preference for the deception of subjective experience is costing us dearly.

 

When we recall deeply that He is the only Power, then we see that there is a blockage to seeing His Compassion, and that blockage is misplaced reliance on the cause and effect thinking of my coping mechanisms and survival instincts.

 

There is a Creator and He Creates me.

And the challenge He also creates, in every minute detail, triggering my spirals and wounds and traumas in order that I can participate in unifying His Name.

 

Will I realize that all the intelligence and physical prowess that He gives me is so that I can choose freely to implement the 613 commandments?  Do not hate, do not bear a grudge, do not speak lashon hara, give the benefit of the doubt, etc.  Am I or am I not going to redirect the chiyus from the trap of the veils of my cause and effect thinking to instead realize that nothing that happens is because of me, that it is all Hashem?  If I wish to unify, I can then do so through the means of the 613 commandments.  I am doing the mitzvah of giving the benefit of the doubt, of forgiving, etc.   By fusing the chiyus that was being drawn to impurely motivated thoughts and speech to mitzvahs, we truly make it possible for Hashem to be seen in this world.  And beyond what we see, we infuse something into the creation that Hashem uses to build a revealed world.  This effort is the purpose for which we are created.  Forgiveness is not just for our well-being.  It is a repair that unifies our soul and creates light in the world.  We are empowered to participate in an expanded cause and effect by performing these mitzvahs over our natural reactions.  And this is the transformation we need to do over and over again to build our eternal identity and contribute what we can to the coming of the final redemption may it be today.

Rabbi Akiva Tatz shiurim on 10 days of repentance and Yom Kippur from Simpletoremember.com

Recreating the Personality is highly recommended as a must listen