1. If a person commits a sin, by violating against any Mitzvah in the Torah, whether it is a sin of commission or a sin of omission, deliberately or through carelessness, and wishes to repent, he or she must first confess the sin to G-d. Confession is itself a Mitzvah (obligation) based on Numbers 5:6-7.

2. 'A person should therefore see himself all year as half innocent and half guilty… which has led all Jews to apply themselves to perform extra good and charitable deeds, more than throughout the rest of the year, in the period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.' (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance , 1).

3. 'It was their custom to get up in the middle of the night during these ten days and say special prayers in the synagogues, until daybreak.'
(Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance , 5).

4. It is a duty ( Mitzvah ) to fast on Tzom Gedaliah, which is known as the 'Fast of the seventh month' ( Zechariah 7:5 and 8:19).

5. It is customary on Shabbat Shuvah for the Rabbi (of the congregation) to give a sermon on the laws of Teshuvah .

6. It is customary not to celebrate marriages during this period.

7. Many people are particular to buy their lulav and etrog for Succot during this period, (but not the willow, which will dry out!), so that this important Mitzvah will be in time to be counted to their credit on the scales of judgement.





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02 Jan 2006 / 2 Tevet 5766 0