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Teshiva for Chilul HaShem

Question:

I made terrible chilul HaShem (happened 3 times!), that I would get angry in a basketball game (or a different game) and would scream out the “N word”, and the black would give me looks. I feel really bad about it and keep getting sad every time I think about it. Am I chayav misa?
What is my complete teshuva?

Answer:

You are very correct in your fear, because Chillul Hashem is a terrible aveiro. Our existence in this world is in order to make a sanctify Hashem’s name and by doing actions that disgrace His name it is a terrible sin. The gemora Yoma[1] says that there are four levels of rectification for aveiros (in this world). For some aveiros teshuva helps, for others it needs teshuva and Yom Kippur, for others it needs teshuva, Yom Kippur and some physical affliction, but for chullul Hashem even after all of the above, the aveiro is not totally wiped away until the person dies. However, although chillul Hashem is a severe Aveiro, Hashem, in His never-ending kindness has given us a number of remedies of things that we can do that would give a kapara and rectify even this aveiro. After doing the regular teshuva (having remorse for what we did, verbally confessing the sin to Hashem, and accepting upon yourself not to repeat this sin) here are a number of things that are brought in the seforim.

  1. Make effort to constantly make a kiddush Hashem– Rabeinu Yona[2] says that a person who made a chullul Hashem should try to constantly make a kiddush Hashem. In practical terms, whenever you go in public try to act in a courteous, considerate and honest way, so that your actions will make a kiddush Hashem.
  2. Chesed and emes – Rabeinu Yona[3] also says (based on the posuk “b’chesed v’emes yichupar avon) that after a person has done the regular teshuva, in order to rid himself of the extra severity of chillul Hashem, the person should do two things. Acts of chesed, and also strengthen and give support to those who stand for truth, (talmidei chachomim, torah institutions) and fight against those who are against the Torah.
  3. He also says that a person who made a chullul Hashem should tell others, “Don’t do what I did. I made a Chillul Hashem by doing what I did, don’t follow what I did”.
  4. Learning torah– The seforim bring[4] that it is possible to rectify the aveiro of chillul Hashem thru learning torah. As a side point, The Ben Ish Chai says that ALL aveiros can be rectified thru toiling in torah.
  5. Doing teshuva m’ahava– The seforim[5] further bring that even for chillul Hashem, 1. If a person does “Teshuva Mahava” (meaning teshuva not because he is afraid of the punishment, but because he wants to get close and earn Hashem’s love), that such teshuva cleans even chillul Hashem.
  6. Another remedy[6] that brought is that by keeping Shabbos meticulously also helps for chillul Hashem.

May Hashem help us that we should only sanctify Hashem’s name and never the opposite

Sources:

[1] Yoma 68a, also see Shabbos 114a, Sharei Teshuva 3-114,

[2] Sharei Teshuva 4-16.

[3] Sharei Teshuva 1-47, also brought in Orchos Tzaddikim -Shar Hateshuva.

[4] Reishis Chochma (Shar Hakedusha chap.13 para. 19), Ben Ish Chai 2nd year, beginning of Parshas Tetzaveh, also see Sharei Teshuva 4-16 who says this.

[5] See Introduction to Nachal Yitzchok (R’ E. Spector zt”l) vol.2- 12, also see Otzros Hamussar- 2 pg. 1046, who brings this from the Meiri Yoma 86, and Minchas Chinuch end of Mitzvah 364.

[6] Nachal Yitzchok ibid.

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2 Comments

  1. Would I be chayav misa though?

    And would doing some of those things mentioned above, completely wipe away the aveira?

    1. Itis hard to say that it completely wipes it away, because I am not a mekubal, and because there are a lot of levels of teshuva, and the better the teshuva is the better the aviero is erased. However from what the seforim say, if you do what they say sincerely, you’ll be alright.
      Best wishes

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