Monthly Archives: 8 Tishri 5775

Yom Kippur

Because on this day (Yom Kippur) H. shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you; from all your sins before Hashem you shall be cleansed. (Vayikra 16/2930)

Zera Shimshon asks that seemingly this possuk repeats itself three times! The possuk begins that on Yom Kippur a person is atoned from his sins. After that the possuk continues and says that he will be cleansed. Obviously, the cleansing mentioned is refering to a spiritual cleansing and therefore it seems that it is only repeating what was already said. The possuk concludes that “from all your sins before Hashem you shall be cleansed” which seemingly is the same thing a third time. How can we understand this?

Zera Shimshon explains in light of a concept mentioned in the Gemorro Yoma (86B). Their are two basic motivations to do teshuva which result in two distinct outcomes. The first type is teshuva motivated by fear of being punished by Hashem. A person who does this type of teshuva doesn’t erase all traces of the sin. Rather it causes that Hashem judges a sin done intentionally (maizid) as if was done only by mistake (shogage).

The second motivation to do Teshuva is out of love of Hashem. This results in two things. Firstly, that the sin done intentionally is completely erased. Secondly, not only is it totally erased but Hashem relates to this sin as something meritorious and Hashem gives him a reward!

Atonement, explains Zera Shimshon, is not completely synonymous with being cleansed. After atonement there is a still a trace of the sin left behind in the person. However, when he is cleansed from the sin there is no trace of a sin at all.

According to this, concludes Zera Shimshon, the possuk is not at all repetitious. Each phrase is referring to a different type of person. For a person who did teshuva out of fear then on Yom Kippur , “H. shall provide atonement for you“. For one who does teshuva out of love, Yom Kippur is “to cleanse you“.

The end of the possuk, “from all your sins before Hashem you shall be cleansed” comes to teach us that teshuva out of love is so powerful that not only does it totally cleanse a sin done intentionally (and convert that sin into a merit) but it also turns a sin that was done to rebel against Hashem into a merit! This is the meaning of, “from ALL your sins before Hashem you shall be cleansed

This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of  the  learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun

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