Monday, August 23, 2010

VIDUY: ‘Confessing our sins’ is the deepest admission.

13th of Elul, 5770

The Mitzvah of Teshuba –repentance- takes place when we recite the Viduy. Viduy means ‘confession’, and it consists on the articulation and enumeration of our transgressions, after we have identified them and regretted.

Maimonides explains "When one does return from his sin, he must confess before God Almighty, Blessed is He, as it says: 'they shall confess their sin that they committed' (Bamidbar 5:7), this ‘Viduy’ is a positive commandment (Hilchot Teshuba 1:1)

Without Viduy the Mitzva of Teshuba cannot take place.

We do not disclose our sins in front of other people or a rabbi, but right in front of God Almighty, whispering to ourselves our transgressions.

The torah says that God Almighty knows “the secrets of the universe, and the hidden-most mysteries of all the living creatures, nothing is hidden from You and nothing is concealed from Your eyes". Now, if God knows our sins better that we do, for what purpose must we enumerate them before Him?

Similar to psychoanalysis, where the patient begins his metal healing when he or she is able to articulate his trauma, we have reached the level of ‘admission of our sins’ only when we are able to articulate our transgressions with words, not with thoughts.

Viduy has to be anticipated by hakarat hachet -admission of our misdeeds- and followed by azibat hachet , our determination not to repeat the sin.