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Yom Kippur / Kol Nidrei: The Most Unforgivable Sin

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The Most Unforgivable Sin

What is the most unforgivable sin?

Many would answer: Not believing in G-d. Because without faith in a higher power that created us, life has no purpose and direction, and we lose our accountability and morality.

The truth is that the most unforgivable sin is not believing in yourself! And Yom Kippur teaches us why.

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year because it brought forgiveness and hope into the world. After the Jewish people utterly betrayed G-d by building a Golden Calf, Moses broke the first tablets he received from G-d, and went back up Mt. Sinai and spent 80 (two sets of 40) days beseeching G-d to forgive the people. Finally, on Yom Kippur G-d granted his request and Moses returned on that day with the second tablets and atonement for the Jews.

That is why, on Yom Kippur eve, right after Kol Nidrei, we declare these stirring words three times: Vayomer Hashem Solachti Kidvorecha – And the Lord said: I have pardoned in accordance with your words.

But wait! Upon inspection we find that those words pardoning the Jews were not said in relation to the sin of the Golden Calf. They were said in connection with a completely different transgression – the grave sin of the spies, Chet Hameraglim, who incited the Jews against entering the Promised Land.

Why then would we proclaim on Yom Kippur night the atonement for a sin that has no connection with this Holy Day, when we were forgiven for the Golden Calf?!

The answer to this question, poignantly illustrated with a few amusing anecdotes, illuminates for us a lesser known Yom Kippur message: The secret of self-confidence.

Yom Kippur teaches us that the ultimate belief in G-d and G-d’s forgiveness is also learning to believe in yourself.

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