Fasting over one’s sins

17.08.18

Pergunta

In the past I did immoral sins, but now I married a worthy woman and accepted upon myself to avoid sinning in the future, expressed regret, and confessed my sin. Is that enough for my sins to be forgiven or do I have to accept all kinds of extreme measures as mentioned in the holy books, like fasting during a night and a day, redeeming myself with money especially during Elul, the Ten Days of Repentance and the 8 weeks beginning with the week when they read Shemot? Or maybe my sins were forgiven already?

Resposta

Repentance atones for all sins, but the holy books say that sufferings completely wipe out the sins’ stain on the soul. As the Tanya explains, fasts are in place of sufferings.

In our generation, when people are weak and fasts would likely weaken a person in his religious service, it’s better to do other kinds of rectifications that don’t involve suffering. Today one should study Torah consecutively without stopping for idle talk, avoid inappropriate words, and do acts of kindness even when then require a good bit of effort. These can cleanse your soul from all sin or taint so that you won’t need fasts or other self-afflictions.