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    They had to confess – B’midbar

    If an ancient Israelite committed a sin they had to admit it and confess it. They were warned against being obsessed and haunted by the wrong they had done. That would have made matters worse.

    They had to face up to their sin and struggle, if need be, to find the words to articulate what they had done (Num. 5:6-7). Every act had to be confronted. Repentance was an essential part of life and dignity. Nothing could be allowed to fester in one’s mind and heart and to haunt an individual.

    Confession was and is never easy but it can’t be evaded. It can even help if it is allowed to save a person from repeating the act. Resh Lakish (Talmud Yoma 86b) says it can make you a better person. Admitting your sins needs courage but it is cleansing and cathartic.

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