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"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3

Jerusalem

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NUMBERS — 5:7 confess

If a man transgresses any of the mitzvos in the Torah, whether positive ones or negative ones, whether intentionally or unwittingly--when he repents and turns away from his sin, he must confess before the Blessed G-d, as it is written [this and previous verse]. This refers to verbal confession. ... one who injures his friend or damages his property, even though he compensates him, receives no atonement until he confesses and abandons such conduct forever. How does one confess? He says: "I supplicate You, O Hashem: I have sinned, transgressed, and offended before You, and I have done this-and-this. And now I regret, and am ashamed of my deeds, and will never revert to them again." This is the essence of confession. All who confess frequently and at length are to be commended.
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NUMBERS — 5:7 confess

It is a positive commandment that a sinner should turn back from his sin, and should confess his mistakes before the blessed G-d as Scripture says, When a man or a woman commit any sin… then they shall confess their sin [this and preceding verse]. This means an avowal in words before the blessed G-d. He is to say, from the depths of his heart, "I beseech You Hashem: I have sinned, done wrong, and acted criminally before You. This-and-this I did (and he has to describe the scene in detail); and here I have regretted my deed and become ashamed of it. Never will I go back and do this thing again." The main element [of repentance] is remorse in the heart, in truth, over the past; and one must take it upon himself not to do such a thing ever again. This [confession] is the essential part of repentance; but the more one confesses, the more praiseworthy he is. Even death and the confession on Yom Kippur, however, bring no atonement [and forgiveness] unless they are with repentance.
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NUMBERS — 5:7 confess

Maimonides identifies confession as a religious obligation. Summarizing the vast biblical and rabbinic literature regarding confession that preceded him, and adding some embellishments of his own, Maimonides writes: "With regard to all the precepts of the Torah, affirmative or negative, if a person transgressed any one of them, either willfully or in error, and repent and turn away from his sin, he is duty-bound to confess before G-d, blessed be He, as it is written (this and preceding verse); this means confess in words, and this confession is an affirmative commandment. How does one confess? The penitent says: "I beseech you, O Lord, I have sinned, I have acted perversely, I have transgressed before you, and I have done such and such, and I repent and am ashamed of my deeds, and I never shall do this again." This constitutes the essence of the confession. The fuller and more detailed the confession one makes, the more praiseworthy he is." Maimonides, Hilkhot Teshuvah 1:1. Confession of sin became both a public and a private activity. The prayerbook contains public confessionals, recited during communal prayer, such as those recited on the Day of Atonement, as well as private confessionals such as the deathbed confessional. Regarding private confession, Isaiah Horowitz records that his father made private confession of his sins three times daily: "And every night before he would retire he would list the deeds he performed that day. Then, he would sit alone and contemplate them. He would scrutinize the actions he performed not only that day but all the days of his life up until that point." Horowitz, Shnei Luhot ha-Brit. 3 Vols. Jerusalem: Edison, 1960, p. 171b.
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NUMBERS — 5:7 confess

Painful and embarrassing as it might be, we should confess our sins aloud (though not necessarily in the presence of others). (Maimonides, "Laws of Repentance" 1:1), basing himself on Numbers 5:6-7. The purpose of this confession is to shock us into righting the wrong we have done. If others are present, we are more likely to try to downplay or rationalize our wrongful behavior. It is usually easier to be honest with ourselves, and about ourselves, when we are alone.] By admitting a sin out loud (instead of just mentally acknowledging a wrong we have committed), we will be less likely to try and rationalize it. Also, we are more likely to be horrified by what we have done, and motivated to atone.
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NUMBERS — 5:10 holy

This versus intimates that in the end nothing remains of all man's accomplishments, with the exception of the holy acts that he performed, personally, during his lifetime, such as: Tefillin, Tzitzith, and the other mitzvot. Every mitzvah he performs creates another defending angel and these will forever keep company with him. Not so the yetzer harah and all his physical powers which man cherishes most. They accompany him temporarily; when he is in distress, they depart from him. Furthermore they really detest man. They send and testify against him, seeking to forfeit his life. Even the members of his own family, who really love him, cannot stay with him forever. Each of them must return to his own home, after they have escorted him to the cemetery. He will not see them ever again, until the time of the revival of the dead. What does he retain? -- his holy acts. They accompany him; they are his true friends and counsel, defending him before the Lord of all things. This thought is conveyed by, "and every man's holy things shall be his" [this verse]. Hence man should acquire as many of these friends as he can, during his lifetime. He should be with them at all times, since they will stay with him forever. The verse ends: "Whatsoever any man gives to the Priest shall be his." This too teaches a moral lesson. Of all the money he exerts himself to accumulate in his lifetime, man will retain nothing in the end. The only sums he will continue to enjoy will be the amounts he distributed as charity and chesed. So has Chazal pointed out (Bava Bathra 11a): "My forbears laid up stores below; I have laid up stores above." This, then, is the meaning of the passage, "Whatsoever he gives to the Priest shall be his." The donation really belongs to the donor.
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NUMBERS — 5:10 they

R. Yochanan said: If one has terumoth and ma'asroth [tithes] and does not give them to the priest, in the end he himself will have need of them [i.e., he will have recourse to the tithes for the poor], as it is written: "and a man [midrashically: 'who withholds'] his holy things, to him shall they be" [forthcoming from others, viz., as the tithe for the poor] (Berachoth 63a)
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NUMBERS — 5:14 jealousy

… the word "jealous" occurs four separate times in the discussion of the suspected unfaithful wife, the Sotah [this and following verse; Numbers 5:29]. The husband is jealous of his wife's lover, whom he suspects had sexual relations with his wife. The offering that she must bring is called the "Mincha of jealousy," and the summation of the portion is called the "Torah of jealousies." Rabbi Elazar Hakapar points out that jealousy is one of three negative character traits that can remove a person from this world, either due to his anguish or as a punishment (Mishnah, Avot 4:21). The Rabbis say that jealousy actually tears up the person inside (makes a person's bones rot), while a non-jealous person will never suffer this fate (Shabbat 10a). As much as this trait is undesirable in Judaism, the Rabbis also recognized it is a common emotion, even among Rabbis themselves. The Talmud thus declares that if two Rabbinic scholars live in the same city but do not get along in Torah law, one should die and the other should be exiled (Sotah 49a). Another passage says that this jealousy among Rabbis also causes Divine displeasure (Ta'anit 8a).
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