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167. The Reason Why It Is Called Shabbat Teshuvah

I heard on Shabbat Teshuvah, October 9, 1948, Tel-Aviv

The reason why it is called “Shabbat Teshuvah” (Shabbat of repentance) is that (at the end of the ten penitential days, on the Day of Atonement) we say “for a sin.” And anyone who examines the “for a sin” does not find his place there, at least in sixty percent, and forty percent can be explained and excused, perhaps there is a doubt that he does not feel there. But in sixty percent he certainly does not find himself.

This is why there is the virtue of the Shabbat: the Light of the Shabbat can shine and show, so one can find oneself in all one hundred percent of the “for a sin,” that this was given only for him, and not for others. But without the Light, we do not feel.

This is why it is called “Shabbat Teshuvah.” The Shabbat is good for Teshuvah (repentance), so one can feel the sin. This is because first we must confess to the sin, and then ask for forgiveness. But if we say “for a sin” without feeling the sin, what kind of confession is this? After all, he is saying in his heart that he did not sin. And what he says in his mouth when his heart is not with him, such a confession is certainly worthless.

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