It is not enough to show regret; you have to make amends and therefore work

February 21st 2013
It is good that people recognize their mistakes and regret them, but it is not enough. Even if the remorse and tears that sometimes go with it help to purify us, in order to be forgiven we must make amends. The Zohar says that when God created penance, he said to it, ‘Whenever men and women turn to you, you must erase their faults.’ But they will only be truly erased if we ‘do’ penance. Penance entails activity, not passivity. When you have understood the error of your ways and the reason for it, you have to try to make amends and, above all, get back to work. By lamenting and beating your breast you are not improving anything, and you even become a burden on others. Salvation is found not in remorse but in work.