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Nullity Of Being, Greatness Of Being: A Meditation on Sin and Repentance


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None of us expected to survive. Every morning, we saw this one didn’t move and that one didn’t move, and as we carried the dead out we looked upon them with envy. Is that emunah in Hashem? Is that bitachon in Hashem?

So, yes, we have sinned. We have sinned and now we must klop Al Chait. We must pray to get back the emunah and bitachon that lay dormant these years in the camps. Now that we are free, Ribbono shel Olam, we beg You to forgive us. Forgive everyone here. Forgive every Jew in the world.

Rav Soloveitchik taught that every confession expresses itself in the outcry “I am black, and I am beautiful, Oh daughter of Jerusalem.” For when we fail to see the “beauty” we cannot hope to discern the “blackness.”

Genuine repentance demands that the sinner view himself from the seemingly two antithetical viewpoints, the two fundamental truths of his being – from the nullity of being and the greatness of being.

The Klausenberger Rebbe clearly saw both.

May God grant us the strength, courage, humility and wisdom to see both as well.

Shanah Tovah.

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About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


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