FAQs

Repentance and Atonement

What is the best way to encourage repentance?

The following is a translation of a Chassidic Talk (a Sicha) by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, on the 1st of Elul, 5782. Presented here with permission, as translated and published in Sichos In English, Volume 14. [Clarifications by the Director of AskNoah.org are inserted in square brackets.]

A mistaken approach to encouraging Torah observance

Some Rabbis suppose that since it states …, “If a shofar is blown in the city, will not the people tremble in fear” [Amos 3:6], and likewise the [ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah are called] “Days of Awe” [which can also be translated from the Hebrew as “Days of Fear“], their sermons must be full of anger, “fire and brimstone.” They think that the more they shout at and admonish Jews in their sermons, the greater the speaker they are, and the better the job of “educating” their flock. Read more »

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How are sins forgiven without blood sacrifice?

A question received: The shedding of blood for atonement for sin, the transgressing of G-d’s commandments, runs throughout the Hebrew Bible. How do you respond to this?

Answer: The premise of your question is actually incorrect. It also points to an on-going fabrication about the Jewish service of sacrifices to G-d in the Holy Temple. The claim that it brought them forgiveness for willful sins is false. That is a distortion of the true meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures.
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Meanings of repentance, forgiveness & atonement for Gentiles

A synopsis which includes some universal teachings from chapters 1-3 of Tanya, Book 3, as they apply for Noahides.
(Note: Almost all of Book 3 of Tanya is highly kabbalistic and applies only for Jews, so it is not recommended for Noahides.)

The residue of sin needs to be cleaned from a person’s soul

When a person sins, evil cleaves to his soul. Even a Gentile with faith in the One G-d may violate prohibitions of the Noahide Code due to temptations from his evil inclination (as opposed to heretics who deliberately rebel against G-d’s will). G-d forgives a person for the sins he regrets and correctly repents for, and does not punish him for doing those things. Read more »

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What’s the Jewish outlook on the Book of Jonah?

The Book of Jonah is read during the services of Yom Kippur, the Jews’ Day of Atonement. It was chosen because its messages are a fitting inspiration for that time. To understand this scripture, it helps to know the identities of Jonah and the king of Nineveh. Read more »

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How can my prayers of repentance be effective?

With regard to repeated sins: at any time, a person can sincerely repent for a past sin, which may have been committed multiple times, and resolve not to repeat it again in the future. Read more »

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What prayers are appropriate for repentance by individuals?

Three steps for repentance

According to Torah, there are three-steps for repenting to G-d and going onto the proper path. Quoting from Mishneh Torah by Rambam (Maimonides):
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If one repents & sins again, is further repentance accepted?

G-d does not view a person as a “nuisance” for repeatedly asking for forgiveness. Read more »

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