Mabit

Levels of Ease and Efficacy of Teshuvah

by R. Gidon Rothstein Mabit’s Sha’ar Ha-Teshuvah, Chapters 13-18: Levels of Ease and Efficacy of Teshuvah for Various Populations Teshuvah Is Mainly for Jews Chapters thirteen and fourteen support a view of Mabit’s we could spend a lot more time pondering than we have space: he is certain teshuvah works differently for non-Jews than for Jews, is primarily for Jews, although it helps non-Jews a bit. Midrashic sources say ...

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Yisurim, Punishment, and Repentance

by R. Gidon Rothstein Mabit’s Sha’ar Ha-Teshuvah, Chapters 9-12: Yisurim, Punishment, and Repentance Protective Suffering Last time, Mabit discussed ways yisurim address the past; now, he takes up two ways they can be a function of the future. The easier of the two to understand is protective yisurim, where a moment of suffering now stops the righteous person from acting in a way that will damage him/her (especially ...

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Getting Suffering to Atone for Sin

by R. Gidon Rothstein Mabit’s Sha’ar Ha-Teshuvah: Chs. 7-9: Getting Suffering to Atone for Sin Chapter Seven: Matching the Teshuvah to the Crime The categories of het, avon, and pesha reminds us we categorize transgressions by the underlying intention, unwitting, deliberate (although for the enjoyment of the sin), or malicious, a way to rebel against Gd (in one version; there are lots of nuances on these definitions, ...

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The Value in, Difficulty of, Resisting Sin

by R. Gidon Rothstein Mabit’s Sha’ar Ha-Teshuvah, Chs. 4-6 The Strengths of the Righteous and the Repentant The Gemara twice (Berachot 34b and Sanhedrin 99a) contrasts a statement in the name of R. Yohanan with one in the name of R. Avahu. R. Avahu’s is the more familiar, so I will discuss it out of the Gemara’s order. R. Avahu says where penitents ...

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Regret, Retribution, Resilient Resistance

by R. Gidon Rothstein Mabit’s Sha’ar Ha-Teshuvah, Ch. Two -Three: Regret, Retribution, Resilient Resistance Regret and Resolve, the Markers of Repentance Last time, Mabit asserted the essential goal of teshuvah, finding our way to a restored relationship with Gd. This time he takes up the essential elements of teshuvah, haratah, regret, and azivat ha-het, the intention to refrain from this sin in the future. To regret what we fully intend ...

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The Purpose of Repentance

by R. Gidon Rothstein Mabit’s Sha’ar Ha-Teshuvah, Chapter One: The Purpose of Repentance Mabit is the acronym for R. Moshe b. Yosef di-Trani (1500-1580), for fifty five years the rabbi of Safed (while R. Yosef Karo, author of the Shulhan Aruch lived there; they had some well known disagreements. One was about the obligation to declare produce hefker, unowned, in a shemittah year, an issue I saw ...

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