Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – June 10-11, 2022 (12 Sivan 5782)

June 10-11, 2022                                                                                                        Parashat Nasso
12 Sivan 5782                                                                                                            

At the core of Jewish tradition is the obligation to admit guilt when we’re in the wrong; apologizing and confessing ensure a just society.

This week’s Torah reading instructs: “When men or women individually commit any wrong toward a fellow human being, thus breaking faith with the Eternal, and they realize their guilt, they shall confess the wrong they have done. They shall make restitution in the principle amount and add one-fifth to it, giving it to the one who was wronged” (Numbers 5:6-7).

Biblical scholars agree that confession is essential. Rashi emphasizes that we cannot attain full repentance unless we offer a proper confession of wrongdoing. He teaches that a person cannot achieve true repentance without admitting guilt: “One does not offer compensation or a sin sacrifice without making confession” (Rashi on Talmud Bava Kama 108b).

Maimonides agrees, adding that regardless of the transgression committed, to confess publicly and accurately is considered especially praiseworthy. Without confession, he says, full repentance cannot be achieved (Maimonides, Laws of Repentance, 1:1; 2:5).

It seems that justice is a two-part process. Justice can only be achieved, and amends can only be made, when both of two criteria are met: (1) the guilty party must publicly admit guilt; and (2) the guilty party must make adequate restitution. It is not sufficient to do only one or the other. We might be tempted either to apologize or to pay back. But our tradition demands that we do both.


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Friday at 5:00 PM:           Shabbat Blessings in the Dining Room

Friday at 6:30 PM:           Shabbat Evening Service

Saturday at 10:00 AM:   Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room


Candle lighting time for Shabbat for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 7:42 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:44 PM


Shabbat Shalom                                                                                               Rabbi Sherman