Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur

Death and Life

by Rabbi Pinchas Kantrowitz
Can a person undo murder? Can he undo his actions?
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"Joel, my friend, you don't look good. Let old Mike sit you up in this big armchair. Don't slouch! Let's prop you up some more. My, you're pale. Let's color your cheeks a bit. This stuff's for girls, but we won't tell anyone. OOPS, keep that head up! I'm sorry about what I did to you before, Joel. Guess I lost my cool. Next thing I know I'm holding that kitchen knife... I'm real sorry! But now you look great! I fixed you up like new! Oh, no! The eyes! How are we going to keep your eyes open?"

Can a person undo murder? Can he undo his actions? Mike may make Joel look a little better, but what's done is done. Only a miracle could bring Joel to life.

The same is true in the spiritual world: Can a person undo a sin? What's done is done! Only a miracle could wipe away the negative consequences of a misdeed.

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato in his classic "Path of the Just" explains that repentance is a miraculous phenomenon. It enables a person to undo the spiritual effects of what is already done. Repentance can erase a misdeed, or even turn it into a good deed! That is the miracle of miracles.


  • The Path of the Just pg. 59

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