The Double Purpose of Yom Kippur

We must be cleansed from the polluting effects of sin.

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The Communists speak of the commission of "error" and of "deviation," but have no concept of sin. Error carries no implication of metaphysical impurity or of psychic pollution. An "error" is a legal, rational term which must be distinguished from "sin," which harms the inner quality of man and has a deep and far‑reaching effect on his being.

Indeed, true teshuvah not only achieves kapparah, it should also bring about taharah from tumíah (spiritual pollution), liberating man from his hard‑hearted ignorance and insensitivity. Such teshuvah restores man's spiritual viability and rehabilitates him to his original state.

And sometimes ... it makes man rise to heights he never dreamt he could reach.

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Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik was one of the most important Orthodox thinkers of the 20th century. He delivered an annual lecture on repentance that was a highly anticipated event for Modern Orthodox Jews in America.