| Jr. Feature |

With All Your Heart

Yom Kippur is a serious time of year, but it is also a beautiful opportunity to do teshuvah and clear our slate of the aveiros we have done so that we can start afresh.

One of the stages of teshuvah is Vidui, verbally confessing our aveiros. Chazal created an official Vidui to ensure we confess all the wrongs we have done.

Join me here as we explore a few of the confessions we make and learn a little more about what we are saying to Hashem, our King, who is kind and merciful and helps us to do teshuvah.

Al Cheit is the second section of Vidui. Each time we say the word “shechatanu,” we beat the left side of our chest with our right fist.

על חטא שחטאנו לפניך... באמוץ הלב
For the sin that we have sinned before You through hardness of the heart.

Sara and Chava sat next to each other in class. One day, Morah Bernstein walked into the classroom and told the girls to take out their crayons. Chava proudly took out her new Crayola colors, but Sara shrank into her seat; she had no crayons. Chava’s brown eyes sparkled with excitement as she fingered the pale green crayon, but suddenly, she saw Sara. Sara has no crayons, Chava thought. Should I lend her mine?

Imagine if you were Chava. Your crayons are brand new, and you really wanted to keep them all to yourself. Would you generously share them with her, even though it might be hard? Or would you harden your heart?

Think of times you’ve hardened your heart by not noticing, feeling, or doing anything about someone else’s pain.

Feel regret, admit it aloud, and resolve not to do it again.

על חטא שחטאנו לפניך...בבטוי שפתים
For the sin that we have sinned before You through blurting with our lips.

How often do you find yourself blurting these words? “Yes, I’ll do it!” “I promise!” “It’s 100 percent true!”

When she was a young girl, the Chofetz Chaim’s daughter used to help her father check through seforim to make sure they were perfect before being sold. One afternoon, she wanted to go out, but the Chofetz Chaim asked her to check one set of seforim first. She was really anxious to leave, so she promised her father that when she got back, she would check 12 or 13 sets — a huge number! Sure enough, when she returned home later that day, she found 13 sets of seforim waiting for her to check. The Chofetz Chaim was teaching her that words are important.

Think of times you’ve promised something without meaning it or said words without thinking.

Feel regret, admit it aloud, and resolve not to do it again.

על חטא שחטאנו לפניך...בגלוי ובסתר
For the sins that we have sinned before You in public and in private.

Stealthily, he clambers his way through the window. He has planned this robbery for months, and the time has finally come. The moon hides behind the clouds, and the street is deserted. He is inches away from his goal. Suddenly, an ear-splitting noise fills the air: sirens coming from all directions. The police have come. How was he caught? In every corner there are cameras, videoing and recording every move, every moment.

We’re being recorded all the time, too — not just with cameras, but with an Eye that sees us wherever we are and an Ear which hears us, however quiet we whisper. In public and in private, Hashem is always watching.

Think of times you’ve done the wrong thing publicly without being ashamed. Think of times you’ve done the wrong thing in private, thinking that no one can see you.

Feel regret, admit it aloud, and resolve not to do it again.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 780)

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