Chapter 2ב׳
1 א

אֵי זוֹ הִיא תְּשׁוּבָה גְּמוּרָה. זֶה שֶׁבָּא לְיָדוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁעָבַר בּוֹ וְאֶפְשָׁר בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ וּפֵרַשׁ וְלֹא עָשָׂה מִפְּנֵי הַתְּשׁוּבָה. לֹא מִיִּרְאָה וְלֹא מִכִּשְׁלוֹן כֹּחַ. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁבָּא עַל אִשָּׁה בַּעֲבֵרָה וּלְאַחַר זְמַן נִתְיַחֵד עִמָּהּ וְהוּא עוֹמֵד בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ בָּהּ וּבְכֹחַ גּוּפוֹ וּבַמְּדִינָה שֶׁעָבַר בָּהּ וּפָרַשׁ וְלֹא עָבַר זֶהוּ בַּעַל תְּשׁוּבָה גְּמוּרָה. הוּא שֶׁשְּׁלֹמֹה אָמַר (קהלת יב א) "וּזְכֹר אֶת בּוֹרְאֶיךָ בִּימֵי בְּחוּרֹתֶיךָ". וְאִם לֹא שָׁב אֶלָּא בִּימֵי זִקְנוּתוֹ וּבְעֵת שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת מַה שֶּׁהָיָה עוֹשֶׂה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ תְּשׁוּבָה מְעֵלָּה מוֹעֶלֶת הִיא לוֹ וּבַעַל תְּשׁוּבָה הוּא. אֲפִלּוּ עָבַר כָּל יָמָיו וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה בְּיוֹם מִיתָתוֹ וּמֵת בִּתְשׁוּבָתוֹ כָּל עֲוֹנוֹתָיו נִמְחָלִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (קהלת יב ב) "עַד אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֶחְשַׁךְ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְהָאוֹר וְהַיָּרֵחַ וְהַכּוֹכָבִים וְשָׁבוּ הֶעָבִים אַחַר הַגֶּשֶׁם" שֶׁהוּא יוֹם הַמִּיתָה. מִכְּלָל שֶׁאִם זָכַר בּוֹרְאוֹ וְשָׁב קֹדֶם שֶׁיָּמוּת נִסְלַח לוֹ:

What is complete repentance? He who once more had in it in his power to repeat a violation, but separated himself therefrom, and did not do it because of repentance, not out of fear or lack of strength. For example? One who knew a woman sinfully, and after a process of time he met her again privately, and he still loving her as theretofore, and he being in a state of potency, and the meeting is in the same land where the sin was first committed, if he parted without sinning, he has attained complete repentance. Of such Solomon said: "Remember then thy Creator in the days of thy youth" (Ecc. 12.1). Even if he made no reparation save in his old age, at a time when it was already impossible for him to repeat his misdeeds, although it is not the best repentance, it still is of help to him and he is considered a penitent. Moreover, though he continued a life of sin but did repent on his dying day, and did die a penitent, all of his sins are forgiven, even as it is said: "While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain" (Ibid. 12.2), yea, that is the day of death. Deduct herefrom that if he remembered his Creator and did repent ere he died, he was forgiven.1Ibid. 86b; Kiddushin, 40b; Shabbat, 151a. C.

2 ב

וּמַה הִיא הַתְּשׁוּבָה. הוּא שֶׁיַּעֲזֹב הַחוֹטֵא חֶטְאוֹ וִיסִירוֹ מִמַּחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ וְיִגְמֹר בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֵׂהוּ עוֹד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה נה ז) "יַעֲזֹב רָשָׁע דַּרְכּוֹ" וְגוֹ'. וְכֵן יִתְנַחֵם עַל שֶׁעָבַר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה לא יח) "כִּי אַחֲרֵי שׁוּבִי נִחַמְתִּי". וְיָעִיד עָלָיו יוֹדֵעַ תַּעֲלוּמוֹת שֶׁלֹּא יָשׁוּב לְזֶה הַחֵטְא לְעוֹלָם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (הושע יד ד) "וְלֹא נֹאמַר עוֹד אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ" וְגוֹ'. וְצָרִיךְ לְהִתְוַדּוֹת בִּשְׂפָתָיו וְלוֹמַר עִנְיָנוֹת אֵלּוּ שֶׁגָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ:

What is repentance? The sinner shall cease sinning, and remove sin from his thoughts, and wholeheartedly conclude not to revert back to it, even as it is said: "Let the wicked forsake his way" (Is. 55.7); so, too, shall he be remorseful on what was past, even as it is said: "Surely after that I was turned, I repented" (Jer. 31. 19). In addition thereto he should take to witness Him Who knoweth all secrets that forever he will not turn to repeat that sin again, according to what it is said: "Say unto Him.… neither will we call any more the work of our hands our gods" (Hos. 14.3–4). It is, moreover, essential that his confession shall be by spoken words of his lips, and all that which he concluded in his heart shall be formed in speech.2Yoma, 57b; Shabbat, 121. G.

3 ג

כָּל הַמִּתְוַדֶּה בִּדְבָרִים וְלֹא גָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ לַעֲזֹב הֲרֵי זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְטוֹבֵל וְשֶׁרֶץ בְּיָדוֹ שֶׁאֵין הַטְּבִילָה מוֹעֶלֶת לוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּשְׁלִיךְ הַשֶּׁרֶץ. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר וּמוֹדֶה וְעֹזֵב יְרֻחָם. וְצָרִיךְ לִפְרֹט אֶת הַחֵטְא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות לב לא) "אָנָּא חָטָא הָעָם הַזֶּה חֲטָאָה גְדלָה וַיַּעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם אֱלֹהֵי זָהָב":

He who confesses by speech but has not his heart's consent to abandon his erstwhile conduct, behold him, he is like one taking an immersion of purification and in his grasp is an impure creeping thing, when he knows the immersion to be of no value till he cast away the impure creeping thing. Even so it is advised to do, saying: "But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall shall obtain mercy" (Pro. 28. 13). In confessing to God, it is obligatory to name the sin, even as it is said: "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them a god of gold" (Ex. 32.31).3Ta’anit, 16a; Yoma, 86b. C.

4 ד

מִדַּרְכֵי הַתְּשׁוּבָה לִהְיוֹת הַשָּׁב צוֹעֵק תָּמִיד לִפְנֵי הַשֵּׁם בִּבְכִי וּבְתַחֲנוּנִים וְעוֹשֶׂה צְדָקָה כְּפִי כֹּחוֹ וּמִתְרַחֵק הַרְבֵּה מִן הַדָּבָר שֶׁחָטָא בּוֹ וּמְשַׁנֶּה שְׁמוֹ כְּלוֹמַר אֲנִי אַחֵר וְאֵינִי אוֹתוֹ הָאִישׁ שֶׁעָשָׂה אוֹתָן הַמַּעֲשִׂים וּמְשַׁנֶּה מַעֲשָׂיו כֻּלָּן לְטוֹבָה וּלְדֶרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה וְגוֹלֶה מִמְּקוֹמוֹ. שֶׁגָּלוּת מְכַפֶּרֶת עָוֹן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁגּוֹרֶמֶת לוֹ לְהִכָּנַע וְלִהְיוֹת עָנָו וּשְׁפַל רוּחַ:

Among the ways of repentance are, for the penitent to continue to cry out in tearful supplication before the Name, to bestow alms according to his means, and to distance himself exceedingly from the thing wherein he sinned, to have his indentity changed, as if saying: "I am now another person, and not that person who perpetrated those misdeeds", to completely change his conduct for the good and straight path, and to exile himself from his place of residence, for exile atones iniquity, because it leads him to submissiveness and to be meek and humble-spirited.4Rosh-ha-Shanah, 16b. C.

5 ה

וְשֶׁבַח גָּדוֹל לַשָּׁב שֶׁיִּתְוַדֶּה בָּרַבִּים וְיוֹדִיעַ פְּשָׁעָיו לָהֶם וּמְגַלֶּה עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵין חֲבֵרוֹ לַאֲחֵרִים וְאוֹמֵר לָהֶם אָמְנָם חָטָאתִי לִפְלוֹנִי וְעָשִׂיתִי לוֹ כָּךְ וְכָךְ וַהֲרֵינִי הַיּוֹם שָׁב וּמִתְנַחֵם. וְכָל הַמִּתְגָּאֶה וְאֵינוֹ מוֹדִיעַ אֶלָּא מְכַסֶּה פְּשָׁעָיו אֵין תְּשׁוּבָתוֹ גְּמוּרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי כח יג) "מְכַסֶּה פְשָׁעָיו לֹא יַצְלִיחַ". בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בַּעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֲבָל בַּעֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְפַרְסֵם עַצְמוֹ וְעַזּוּת פָּנִים הִיא לוֹ אִם גִּלָּם. אֶלָּא שָׁב לִפְנֵי הָאֵל בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּפוֹרֵט חֲטָאָיו לְפָנָיו וּמִתְוַדֶּה עֲלֵיהֶם לִפְנֵי רַבִּים סְתָם. וְטוֹבָה הִיא לוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נִתְגַּלָּה עֲוֹנוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים לב א) "אַשְׁרֵי נְשׂוּי פֶּשַׁע כְּסוּי חֲטָאָה":

The penitent who confesses publicly is praiseworthy, and it is commendable for him to let the public know his iniquities, and to reveal the sins between himself and his neighbor to others, saying to them: "Truly, I have sinned against that man, and I have wronged him thus and such, but, behold me this day, I repent and am remorseful". But he, who is arrogant and reveals not but covers up his sins, is not a wholehearted penitent, of whom it is said: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper" (Prov. 28.13). But that is saying solely concerning sins between man and man, but sins between man and God, the penitent need not make public, on the contrary it would be impudent of him to reveal them. He, however, should repent before God, blessed is he! and before Him he should detail his sins; and then make public confession upon them by simply saying: "I have sinned". Such procedure is, indeed, for his own good, even as it is said: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Ps. 32.1).6Rosh ha-Shanah, 18a. C.

6 ו

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַתְּשׁוּבָה וְהַצְּעָקָה יָפָה לָעוֹלָם. בַּעֲשָׂרָה הַיָּמִים שֶׁבֵּין רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים הִיא יָפָה בְּיוֹתֵר וּמִתְקַבֶּלֶת הִיא מִיָּד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה נה ו) "דִּרְשׁוּ ה' בְּהִמָּצְאוֹ". בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּיָחִיד אֲבָל צִבּוּר כָּל זְמַן שֶׁעוֹשִׂים תְּשׁוּבָה וְצוֹעֲקִין בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם הֵם נַעֲנִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ד ז) "כַּה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ בְּכָל קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו":

Although it is ever well to cry out and repent, but during the space of the ten days' time between Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom ha-Kippurim it is exceedingly better, and the supplication is presently accepted, even as it is said: "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found" (Is. 55.6). But that is saying solely concerning an individual, but a community every time they cry out a whole hearted repentance they are answered, even as it is said: "As the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for" (Deut. 6.7).7Rosh ha-Shanah, 18a. C.

7 ז

יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים הוּא זְמַן תְּשׁוּבָה לַכּל לַיָּחִיד וְלָרַבִּים וְהוּא קֵץ מְחִילָה וּסְלִיחָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל. לְפִיכָךְ חַיָּבִים הַכּל לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה וּלְהִתְוַדּוֹת בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וּמִצְוַת וִדּוּי יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים שֶׁיַּתְחִיל מֵעֶרֶב הַיּוֹם קֹדֶם שֶׁיֹּאכַל שֶׁמָּא יֵחָנֵק בַּסְּעֻדָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתְוַדֶּה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִתְוַדָּה קֹדֶם שֶׁיֹּאכַל חוֹזֵר וּמִתְוַדֶּה בְּלֵילֵי יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים עַרְבִית וְחוֹזֵר וּמִתְוַדֶּה בְּשַׁחֲרִית וּבְמוּסָף וּבְמִנְחָה וּבִנְעִילָה. וְהֵיכָן מִתְוַדֶּה. יָחִיד אַחַר תְּפִלָּתוֹ וּשְׁלִיחַ צִבּוּר בְּאֶמְצַע תְּפִלָּתוֹ בִּבְרָכָה רְבִיעִית:

Yom ha-Kippurim is the time set aside for repentance for all, the individual as well as the many; for it is the goal of exoneration and quittance in Israel. Because thereof all are obliged to make reparation and confession on the Day of Atonement. The commandment to confess on the Day of Atonement obliges every one to commence it during the afternoon on the ninth day of Tishri, before the evening meal, lest he be sufficated eating his meal before he confess. And, though he did confess before his meal, one is obliged to confess gain during the night prayer of the Day of Atonement, and to repeat the confession during the Morning, Addition, Oblation, and Closing Prayers. At what part of the prayers is the confession made? Every individual delivers it after the silent Benedictions, but the public Reader in the midst of his prayers, after the Fourth Benediction.8Yoma, 87b. C.

8 ח

הַוִּדּוּי שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בּוֹ כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל אֲנַחְנוּ חָטָאנוּ (כֻּלָּנוּ) וְהוּא עִקַּר הַוִּדּוּי. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁהִתְוַדָּה עֲלֵיהֶם בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים זֶה חוֹזֵר וּמִתְוַדֶּה עֲלֵיהֶן בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים אַחֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד בִּתְשׁוּבָתוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים נא ה) "כִּי פְשָׁעַי אֲנִי אֵדָע וְחַטָּאתִי נֶגְדִּי תָמִיד":

The accepted confession of all Israel contains this verse: "But all of us have sinned", which is the component part of the confession. Sins which he had made confession of one Day of Atonement, one should repeat and make confession on every other Day of Atonement. though he continues to be a penitent, even as it is said: "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (Ps. 51.3).9Ibid. C.

9 ט

אֵין הַתְּשׁוּבָה וְלֹא יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפְּרִין אֶלָּא עַל עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם כְּגוֹן מִי שֶׁאָכַל דָּבָר אָסוּר אוֹ בָּעַל בְּעִילָה אֲסוּרָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. אֲבָל עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ כְּגוֹן הַחוֹבֵל אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ הַמְקַלֵּל חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ גּוֹזְלוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֵינוֹ נִמְחַל לוֹ לְעוֹלָם עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן לַחֲבֵרוֹ מַה שֶּׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ וִירַצֵּהוּ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֶחֱזִיר לוֹ מָמוֹן שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לוֹ צָרִיךְ לְרַצּוֹתוֹ וְלִשְׁאל מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁיִּמְחל לוֹ. אֲפִלּוּ לֹא הִקְנִיט אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אֶלָּא בִּדְבָרִים צָרִיךְ לְפַיְּסוֹ וְלִפְגֹּעַ בּוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְחל לוֹ. לֹא רָצָה חֲבֵרוֹ לִמְחל לוֹ מֵבִיא לוֹ שׁוּרָה שֶׁל שְׁלֹשָׁה בְּנֵי אָדָם מֵרֵעָיו וּפוֹגְעִין בּוֹ וּמְבַקְּשִׁין מִמֶּנּוּ. לֹא נִתְרַצָּה לָהֶן מֵבִיא לוֹ שְׁנִיָּה וּשְׁלִישִׁית. לֹא רָצָה מְנִיחוֹ וְהוֹלֵךְ לוֹ וְזֶה שֶׁלֹּא מָחַל הוּא הַחוֹטֵא. וְאִם הָיָה רַבּוֹ הוֹלֵךְ וּבָא אֲפִלּוּ אֶלֶף פְּעָמִים עַד שֶׁיִּמְחל לוֹ:

Neither repentance nor the Day of Atonement atone for any save for sins committed between man and God, for instance, one who ate forbidden food, or had forbidden coition and the like; but sins between man and man, for instance, one injures his neighbor, or curses his neighbor or plunders him, or offends him in like matters, is ever not absolved unless he makes restitution of what he owes and begs the forgiveness of his neighbor. And, although he make restitution of the monetory debt, he is obliged to pacify him and to beg his forgiveness. Even he offended not his neighbor in aught save in words, he is obliged to appease him and implore him till he be forgiven by him. If his neighbor refuses a committee of three friends to forgive him, he should bring to implore and beg of him; if he still refuses he should bring a second, even a third committee, and if he remains obstinate, he may leave him to himself and pass on, for the sin then rests upon him who refuses forgiveness. But if it happened to be his master, he should go and come to him for forgiveness even a thousand times till he does forgive him.10Ibid. 85b; Baba Kamma, 92a; Yoma, 87b. C.

10 י

אָסוּר לָאָדָם לִהְיוֹת אַכְזָרִי וְלֹא יִתְפַּיֵּס אֶלָּא יְהֵא נוֹחַ לִרְצוֹת וְקָשֶׁה לִכְעֹס וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּבַקֵּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ הַחוֹטֵא לִמְחל מוֹחֵל בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם וּבְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵצֵר לוֹ וְחָטָא לוֹ הַרְבֵּה לֹא יִקֹּם וְלֹא יִטֹּר. וְזֶהוּ דַּרְכָּם שֶׁל זֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלִבָּם הַנָּכוֹן. אֲבָל הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים עַרְלֵי לֵב אֵינָן כֵּן אֶלָּא (וְעֶבְרָתָן) [וְעֶבְרָתוֹ] שְׁמָרָה נֶצַח. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר עַל הַגִּבְעוֹנִים לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא מָחֲלוּ וְלֹא נִתְפַּיְּסוּ וְהַגִּבְעֹנִים לֹא מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה:

It is forbidden for man to be ill-natured and unforgiving, for he must be easily appeased but unwidely to wrath; and when a sinner implores him for pardon, he should grant him pardon wholeheartedly and soulfully. Even if one persecuted him and sinned against him exceedingly he should not be vengeful and grudge-bearing, for such is the path of the seed of Israel and of their excellent heart. Only the idolaters are not so, they are of uncircumcised heart, and their wrath is ever-watchful; and, because the Gibonites were unforgiving and unappeasing, that of them it is said: "Now the Gibonites were not of the children of Israel" (II. Samuel, 21.2).11Baba Kamma, 92a. C.

11 יא

הַחוֹטֵא לַחֲבֵרוֹ וּמֵת חֲבֵרוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּבַקֵּשׁ מְחִילָה מֵבִיא עֲשָׂרָה בְּנֵי אָדָם וּמַעֲמִידָן עַל קִבְרוֹ וְיֹאמַר בִּפְנֵיהֶם חָטָאתִי לַה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלִפְלוֹנִי זֶה שֶׁכָּךְ וְכָךְ עָשִׂיתִי לוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה חַיָּב לוֹ מָמוֹן יַחֲזִירוֹ לַיּוֹרְשִׁים. לֹא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ לוֹ יוֹרְשִׁין יַנִּיחֶנּוּ בְּבֵית דִּין וְיִתְוַדֶּה:

One who committed a sin against a friend, and the friend died before he asked his forgiveness, should bring ten adults at his grave and there say: "I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel and against this man (naming him), and I have done against him thus and such (naming the sins). If he was indebted to him he should return the money to the heirs; if he knew not of his heirs he should leave the amount with the tribunal, whenafter his confession should be delivered.12Yoma, 86a; Baba Kamma, 103a. C.