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Acknowledge, Regret, Repent! Atonement

Less that a week before the Day Of Atonement, Rabbinic year 5777, Biblical 5997. In getting ready for this years events, many are presenting ideas about asking for forgiveness and what that should entail.

I heard one talk by a rabbi, declaring this is the best process:

1) Be unhappy or regret what you have done,
2) Acknowledge what you have done,
3) Tell the person you wronged, that you are sorry,
4) Ask for forgiveness for what you have done,
5) Try to repair the damage you caused.

This has caused a number of discussions about forgiveness. Some have even pointed out that the Sages say that you only need to ask three times and if they will not forgive you, then it is their problem.

One mother explained to her daughter that you should acknowledge what you have done and then feel really sorry for it. Then ask to be forgiven and try really hard not to do it again. If you want to be forgiven that is what you should do.

A couple of rabbis have told congregations, this means that the next two opportunities you have to do the same wrong you refrain for doing it.

At the same time these statements are being made, I also hear some of these people say, “I don’t want to feel bad, so don’t say what is wrong or who did what or anything like that. I don’t want to know any of that, I just want you to do what I say, and don’t tell me your opinion. I don’t want to hear it. . . . .”

Some of this information I agree with, but most of it has problems. Let’s start with the list above, which is out of order and missing something. The Order should be 2, 1, 6, 3, 4, 5. What is 6? 6) Never do it again!

Let’s get back to the order before we look at Six(6) and examples.

Before you can feel sorry, regret or be unhappy regarding what you have done, you must in some fashion admit that you have done it. Whatever it is.

An example of the ALMIGHTY declaring punishment would be:

Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam He said: ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying: Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.

In this we can see that First the LORD declares HIS complaint: 1) “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife”, the result of which is that you: “hast eaten of the tree”, here we have the first two issues but then we get the HARM done, “of which I commanded thee”. This should be enough to understand, that You choose to listen and do what She said, instead of Hearing ME(The LORD). And WHAT DID I TELL YOU? “Thou shalt not eat of it;” NOW the punishment: “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

This in one process which the LORD to teach us. 1) Tell us the issue, 2) the Result of our action and then 3) HIS Complaints, 4) which result in this Punishment.

So receiving punishment or being made to be sorry, before you know what you have done, and before you acknowledge your actions, will not change anything. We will continue to do the same sins, insults, injuries, . . . . Because we have not acknowledge what we have done. So the sequence is then 1) Acknowledge what you have done; 2) Be Remorseful of you actions; 3) Tell the one you wronged what you are sorry for(admit your actions); 4) Ask for forgiveness; 5) Atone or Make Amends for the damage; 6) Don’t Do IT Again.

Can to get past(around) this Acknowledgment issue. No, You don’t! You, I and everyone else are required to look at our own life, our actions and evaluate the effect upon others and our soul. The Measuring Stick is the Written Torah, for the LORD GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, holds us accountable by those LAWS and Teachings. Whatever any other human may say, The LORD IS GOD and RULER. This is HIS World, HIS Universe and all are HIS; so HIS WORD Applies First, Last and Always, HIS Judgment is based on HIS WORD, not ours. When we break HIS Teachings and LAWS, we cause harm to others, so we need to Atone before the LORD and before those we have harmed.

Is there an example of Atoning? Yes, King David, beloved of the LORD. Let’s take a look:

2 Samuel 12: “A Case for King David Judgment”
1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him: ‘There were two men in one city: the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds;
3 but the poor man had nothing save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and reared; and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own morsel, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him, but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.’

“The Judgment By The King”

5 And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan: ‘As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this deserveth to die;
6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.’

“The Guilty!”

7 And Nathan said to David: ‘Thou art the man. {S} Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8 and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that were too little, then would I add unto thee so much more.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the word of the LORD, to do that which is evil in My sight? Uriah the Hittite thou hast smitten with the sword, and his wife thou hast taken to be thy wife, and him thou hast slain with the sword of the children of Ammon.

“The LORD’s Judgement”

10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from thy house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11 Thus saith the LORD: Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12 For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’

“David Repents”

13 And David said unto Nathan: ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ . .

“The LORD Forgives, But Punishment is Given”

. . And Nathan said unto David: ‘The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast greatly blasphemed the enemies of the LORD, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’

This full story starts in 2 Samuel 11/

On the Witness of Two or More!

Another Event for King David, and Repenting.

2 Samuel 24:

9 And Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people unto the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

“Acknowledgment of the Sin”

10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people.  And David said unto the LORD: ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, O LORD, put away, I beseech Thee, the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.’

“Consequences”

11 And when David rose up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying:
12 ‘Go and speak unto David: Thus saith the LORD: I lay upon thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.’
13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him: ‘Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thy foes while they pursue thee? or shall there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise thee, and consider what answer I shall return to Him that sent Me.’
14 And David said unto Gad: ‘I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for His mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man.’
15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men.
16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people: ‘It is enough; now stay thy hand.’ And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

“David Pleads Before the LORD”

17 And David spoke unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said: ‘Lo, I have sinned, and I have done iniquitously; but these sheep, what have they done? let Thy hand, I pray Thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.’

“To Make It Right”

18 And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him: ‘Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite.’ —[This will be the “Place of the NAME”.]

Again this is a great thing to learn, and the story is also learning experience. I highly recommend reading the whole story, recorded here in 2 Samuel 24 and again, in 2 Chronicles 21

Two stories of Sin and Repentance. But, is there evidence that the LORD loved David?

1 Kings 15:
4 Nevertheless for David’s sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem;
5 because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Know this, that all of the Kings that follow King David are compared to the actions of David, for Righteousness before the LORD. And that in Ezekiel, in the prophecies of the World to Come, David is declared by the LORD to Be KING for ever, at the time of the Temple Ezekiel tells of. These are in Ezekiel 34 and 37 :24 And My servant David shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd; they shall also walk in Mine ordinances, and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children’s children, for ever; and David My servant shall be their prince for ever.

So the sequence is then
1) Acknowledge what you have done;
2) Be Remorseful of you actions;
3) Tell the one you wronged that you are sorry for(admit your actions);
4) Ask for forgiveness;
5) Atone or Make Amends for the damage;
6) Don’t Do IT Again.

I can show you the way, if you want to know.

IT is to our benefit to HEARKEN until the LIVING GOD OF ISHRAEL/ISRAEL, and to our pain and shame to do otherwise.

My prayer is that The LORD grant you eyes that see, ears that hear and an understanding heart, then you return unto HIM soon!(Isaiah 6: 9 And He said: ‘Go, and tell this people: hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, and understanding with their heart, return, and be healed.’)

If you have questions, write me or submit a comment.

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Shalom,

Yaakov

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