Rabbi's Message

  • May 29, 2015


    The Chiddushei HaRim (R. Yitzchak Meir of Ger; 1799-1866; founder of Gerrer Chassidic Dynasty) points out that according to Rambam and many others, vidui, confession, is a major part of the teshuva process. For a person to truly be able to return to Hashem after having gone astray, he or she must verbally acknowledge the sin. The source for this view is a pasuk in this week’s parsha (5:7) in the section dealing with gezel, stealing. The Torah teaches that aside for the sacrifice in the Beis HaMikdash to atone for the sin, and the necessary monetary restitution for this errant behavior, one must confess. Why, the Chiddushei HaRim asks, are we taught this lesson about confession when learning about gezel? Why not in the section dealing with murder, or some other “major” transgression? 

    The Gerrer Rebbe zt”l explains that at the root of every sin is theft. G-d gave us our bodies, our very lives, to be able to create, do acts of charity and kindness, and continuously grow in a close relationship with Him. When we use these selfsame Divine gifts to move away from the Almighty, to hurt others, we are stealing from Him. Hence, when the Torah wants to teach us a lesson about how to undo the effects of sin, and how to properly rebuild a decayed relationship, it uses the section of gezel as the paradigm. 

    Have a great Shabbos.