April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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This week’s parshiyot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, teach us the power of Hashem’s forgiveness. In the beginning of the parsha, Aharon is told to bring a sin korban, and later on he is told that once a year, Yom Kippur, will be a day of atonement for the Jewish people. However, only after hearing about the day of atonement does Hashem tell Moshe to tell the Jews to follow these laws. Why would the story of Aharon bringing a sin korban or having a day of atonement come before the actual laws? Wouldn’t you first tell someone the rules and laws before letting them know that there’s a way to atone for their future mistakes?

Everything in the Torah is supposed to teach us something, so what is this teaching us? As humans it is hard to forgive, so we might think that we are bound to break a rule; the yetzer hara is so strong and it is just so easy to break a rule. If the rules were given first we might have just closed the book and thought, why am I even listening to the rules; if I break a rule, I can’t take it back. What we don’t always realize is that Hashem is not like humans. He is slow to anger, He shows a lot of kindness, forgives and more. By putting the story of Aharon offering a sin korban and saying that there is a day of atonement from the beginning, it shows that God knows that we are human and that He knows we might slip up sometimes, so don’t worry—there’s a way to fix our mistakes.

In Tehillim Perek 32, David Hamelech explained a way that we can gain forgiveness from Hashem that will help us nowadays, when we do not have the Beit Hamikdash. He says that every person in a time of trouble should go talk to Hashem. They should tell Hashem all that they have sinned and did wrong and then He will come and help them.

We are now in a time of trouble. It may not be a war but people are dying, things are hard because we are stuck at home and things are not normal. We need to listen to David Hamelech when he says that everyone should pray to Hashem in the time of trouble and need. We need to be able to admit when we are wrong and be able to apologize. We are Yehudim, which comes from the name Yehudah. Yehudah was not perfect—he sinned, but he always knew how to admit his mistakes and that is what we must do. We need to admit that we have said lashon hara, passed up the opportunity to do a mitzvah, or violated a law—because once we can admit that we can then learn and grow from it and know not to do it again. That is what I think Hashem expects from us. Not to be perfect, but to try to grow from our imperfection in order to be our best selves.


Shira Sedek is a senior at a local yeshiva high school.

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