Question:

Rabbi, I am vacationing in Thailand and it is songkran holiday. This afternoon, I attended a party where water splashing took place (water is splashed on people for good luck). I didn’t want to attend the party, because it was an Avodah zarah holiday and belief, but due to peer pressure I went along and didn’t say anything. I feel really bad about what I did. How should I go about repenting for this Avodah zarah sin? Is it forgivable?

Answer:

Essentially there were a number of things involved here that you should not of done, firstly we are not allowed to enter the shrine of an Avoda zara especially on the day of their holiday, and secondly partaking in their ceremony, and enjoying the party etc. However, h=-sehm is merciful to us, and like all sins, it is forgivable if you do proper teshuva. Teshuva consists of 3 parts, remorse over what was done, (which it seems that you have already fulfilled). The second part is to confess to H-shem, and say to H-shem, “I sinned to you by going into a avoda zara place, and by partaking in the party, and I am sorry for it”. The third part is to do something concrete to distance yourself from avoda zara in the future. For starters, make sure that for the rest of your trip, that you keep an extra distance from any pagan place of worship, and distance yourself from anything that has to do with any avoda zara, for the remainder of your trip (and for the future don’t trips to places that you might fall into such a trap again).  Aside from that you should study the laws regarding distancing ourselves from avoda zara. I don’t know your level of Jewish knowledge, etc. but if you can learn either the tractate (even mishnayos) Avoda Zara or the laws of Avoda Zara (Yora Deah Siman 139-152), I would recommend that you do that. If you can’t do that, then you should accept upon yourself o be more careful about shabbos observance.

 

Sources:

Y:D 142-15, 149-1,8,9, 150-1. Horav Yackov Hillel shlit”a

Tags: avoda zara repentance

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