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8. In Judaism, Forgiveness and Repentance are personally achieved.

The prophet Ezekiel says it clearly: when we have transgressed we need to develop a new heart and a new spirit.29  Weiss-Rosmarin offers: “Forgiveness is predicated on ethical regeneration, and salvation can only be procured through unremitting efforts of mending one’s ways ... there are no intercessors other than ‘repentance and good deeds’”30  In Judaism, forgiveness does not have to be offered unless it is first requested by the transgressor and then, appropriately earned by that transgressor. Jews petition God for forgiveness for wrongs committed against God and a person that we have wronged for forgiveness for transgressions committed against that person.31

Stated succinctly, redemption involves all of the following three facets: Repentance, Prayer, and Good Deeds.  First, Repentance: to be “forgiven,” Judaism teaches us that we must admit to and stop our wrongful acts and demonstrate change. Second, Prayer: Judaism invites us to get in a “right relationship” with those we have wronged, whether human or Divine. Third, Good Deeds: we are taught to add to the store of goodness in the world, often through charity or acts of kindness.

© 2004 , Bonita E Taylor & David J. Zucker

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