By Rabbi Sharaga Simmons
Following the sin of the Golden Calf, Moses pleaded with God to forgive the people. Finally on Yom Kippur, atonement was achieved and Moses brought the second set of Tablets down from Mount Sinai.
From that day forward, every Yom Kippur carries with it a special power to cleanse our mistakes (both individually and collectively) and to wipe the slate clean.
This works on two conditions:
(1) We do a process called teshuva – literally “return.” Teshuva involves four steps:
Regret – acknowledging that a mistake was made, and feeling regret at having squandered some of our potential.
Cessation – Talk is cheap, but stopping the harmful action shows a true commitment to change.
Confession – To make it more “real,” we admit our mistake verbally, and ask forgiveness from anyone we may have harmed.
Resolution – We make a firm commitment not to repeat the harmful action in the future
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