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Parshas Ki Savo 5775
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September 4, 2015
Volume 11 Issue 35
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Dvar Torah

It's a Whole New World
By Rabbi Yosef Prupas 
As we get closer to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur some of us get really nervous wondering how we will make it on Rosh Hashanah, while others prefer not to think about it. Fortunately, and not coincidently, this week's Parsha contains words of comfort and encouragement that can direct us in the right course in our preparation for the High Holidays. There are two verses that inspire a fresh approach.
In the first verse (26:16) Moshe tells the Jewish Nation, "This day, Hashem, your G-d, commands you to perform..." Rashi explains that "This day," conveys that "each day [the commandment] should be new in your eyes as if you were commanded that day." Similarly we find later in the Parsha Rashi comments on the verse (27:9) "This day you have become a people," that "everyday [the commandments] shall be in your eyes as if you had entered the covenant that day." The commentaries explain that both verses teach us that our covenant and the commandments should not become routine.
Perhaps we can add a new perspective to the above, based on what can be accomplished with Teshuva, repentance. Rabbi Meir Belsky shlit"a in his Sefer "Citadel and Tower" quotes a Yalkut Shimoni (Bamidbar 29:1) which states: "Says R'Tachlifa Kisiri, by all other sacrifices the verse writes "and you have offered," whereas here (by the sacrifices of Rosh Hashanah) it is written "and you shall make..." [Why is this so?] Says The Holy One Blessed He, "Since you have come before Me today and you have been acquitted, consider it as if 'today' you were made - as if today you were formed a new creation..." From this Yalkut we can infer that if Teshuva accomplished the recreation of a person, it would also mean that he received all the commandments anew that day. Therefore instead of looking back at the year with an attitude of resignation, it is better to harness the power of Teshuva, become a new person with a fresh set of commandments. Additionally, Teshuva is possible everyday as we strive to be better people. This can be an alternative approach to the concept that "each day [the commandment] should be new in your eyes as if you were commanded that day."
But we ask ourselves how can genuine repentance be accomplished? G-d may be willing to forgive us, but what of all the people we've wronged that we don't even know about or we are too embarrassed to approach? Aren't we told that if we haven't received forgiveness from our fellow even repentance of Yom Kippur won't help us?
The answer lies in a very encouraging Meshech Chochma at the end of this week's Parsha. After describing the initial effort required from the Jewish People to vanquish Amalek, with the proper trust, G-d will assist us. The Meshech Chochma goes on to say that this procedure is also applicable in regards to our battle with the Yetzer Horah and repenting. If one makes sincere initial effort towards repentance, Hashem will help us with the rest. He will even place the thought in the minds of our friends to forgive us. May we make that initial effort and may Hashem bless us with His assistance, so that we achieve true Teshuva.
Dvar Halacha
Laws of Appeasing Another Jew     Part 1
  By  Rabbi Yochanan Eskenaz i
With the approaching Yomim Norayim thoughts of doing a proper teshuva (repentance) are at the front of many people's minds. Many times we sin and regret our choices; we truly want to do teshuva, but are not aware of how to properly accomplish this.
Teshuva is a mitzvas asei me'doraisa (Biblical commandment). The Torah [Bamidbar 5:7] says "V'hisvadoo es chatosum asher asu" (and they shall confess their sin which they committed). It is important to keep in mind, just as with other mitzvos the only way to keep it properly is to know the halachos of the mitzvah [e.g. it is impossible to properly keep the mitzvah of Shabbos without the knowledge of Hilchos Shabbos (See Introduction to Mishneh Berurah vol. 3)], the same holds true regarding the mitzvah of teshuva.
The Rambam [Hilchos Teshuva 2:7] writes that even though there is a mitzvah to do teshuva each day of the year, on Yom Kippur one is required to do teshuva. Therefore, if one did not do teshuva on Yom Kippur, he has violated a mitzvas asei (see also Sefer Hachinuch 364).
The Mishnah [Yoma 85b] teaches that Yom Kippur atones for sins between man and Hashem, however not sins against one's fellow man. Therefore, one who wronged someone is obligated to appease him (Shulchan Aruch 606:1).
It is important to note, if someone wronged another person, in addition to violating a mitzvah of bein adam l'chaveiro (interpersonal relationships), one has also violated a mitzvas bein adam l'makom (between man and G-d). Therefore, even if one appeased the other person, one is still obligated to repent on the bein adam l'makom aspect of the aveira (Rambam Hilchos Teshuva 1:1, Shaarei Teshuva 1:45 & Shulchan Aruch 606:2).
One is only obligated to appease his fellow man if one caused damage to him (Sefer Chafetz Chaim, Lashon Hara 4:12 quoting Shaarei Teshuva 207). For instance, if one said something insulting about someone, however, it was not in front of him [and therefore he was not insulted], nor did it lead to any damage, etc. he would not need to ask forgiveness.  
If one did cause harm to someone, even if that person did not know about it, one is obligated to ask for forgiveness (Sefer Chafetz Chaim 4:12). Therefore, if someone said rechilus about someone (conveying information to an individual regarding what another had said about him, even if it is true), if he sees the listener believes him, one is required to ask forgiveness from whom he spoke about, since this most probably resulted in some form of damage etc. (Sefer Chafetz Chaim 2:4: BM"C 4).
If one wronged a katan (minor) the custom is to ask forgiveness. Additionally, when the katan reaches adulthood (13 year old boy or 12 year old girl), one is obligated to ask him again, since a minor's forgiveness, is not a halachically binding (Koveitz Halachos [Piskei Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlit"a] 25:17).
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