Part 1 ~ Taking Responsibility
"They will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers
for the treachery in which they have betrayed Me, and for having behaved towards me in a contrary manner. Therefore I too
will behave towards them in a contrary manner, and I will bring them into the land of their enemies. Perhaps then their unfeeling
heart will be humbled, and they will gain appeasement for their sins." Leviticus 26:40
So concludes the words of rebuke Yahveh communicated through Moses, regarding what would eventually
happen to the Israelites upon abandoning the Torah in their Promised Land. However, traditional teaching of repentance does
not seem to fit into the above. Here we read that Yahveh will continue to punish the Israelites even after they acknowledge
their wrong-doings and confess them to the Almighty.
Why would Yahveh respond by intensifying Israel's persecution
instead of accepting their repentance?
Part 2 ~ Personal Accountability
Though the principles of repentance are scattered through the Torah, they are presented in the most
detailed form in Ezekiel chapter 18.
"Our fathers ate sour grapes and the children's teeth are on edge. Behold (says Yahveh)
all souls are Mine. As the father's soul belongs to Me, so the son's soul belongs to Me. It is the soul that actually sins
that shall die. For Yahveh does not desire to impose death, if only he will return (repent), then he will live."
This is the principle of personal responsibility and personal accountability before Yahveh. A person cannot excuse
his conduct by blaming his background - 'it's the way I was brought up'. Those 'sour grapes' do not serve as a refuge for
"They will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers, for having behaved towards Me in a contrary
Often, when we confess our own sins, we also bring up our fathers' sins, and blame our problems
on our parents. Such excuses, says Ezekiel, are not true repentance. Rather, we add insult to injury by refusing to take
responsibility for our faults, and shifting the blame onto someone else. Only when we become truly humble,
will Yahveh remember His Covenant with Jacob. (Leviticus 26:41-42)
Humility lies in taking full responsibility for our shortcomings, by blaming no one but ourselves.