10 Sivan 5783 – 30 May 2023
When the Torah speaks about repentance for stealing, it says: “They shall confess their sins that they did…” (Numbers 5:7).
This sentence just could have said “they shall confess their sins” – the words ‘that they did’ seem extra.
R’ Yaakov Aharon of Alexander explained that these words don’t refer to the sin itself, but to what led the person to steal.
Rarely does a person begin to literally steal out of the blue. Usually, it may start with subtle compromises of honesty or taking liberties with the property of others. These hairline infractions over time may lead to outright theft.
The Rebbe of Alexander teaches, therefore, that simply confessing for the sin of stealing is not enough. The person must think about “what s/he did” that led to eventually stealing. In order for their repentance to be effective, these prior stages must be addressed.
By Rabbi Michael Skobac
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