In a few days, it shall be Yom Kipper, The Day of Atonements.
I say Atonement because there were really more than one Atonement made.
First, the High Priest went into the Holy of Holiess. He was permitted to enter that chamber only once a year, Yom Kipper. He would offer two bulls. One for his sins and then one for his family. There were also two goats involved, one was send off and would die in the wilderness. The other would be the offering for Israel.
It was and still is a solemn time, for it is a time for reffection, repentance and for reconcilliation between G-d and man and man and man.
While we repent of our sins, there must also be an action, a turning around and resolving not to walk in that path again. But in our sin, we wrong and/or wrong someone, so we must make that right as well.
In our faith, it is wrong to gossip about another. During the month of Elud (last month of the Jewish year) as I repent of this sin, knowing I was wrong and ask G-d to forgive me. I know He does.
But He then calls to my mind, who I have gossiped about. I now need to go and ask that person to forgive me.
Not easy? Well, it gets better.
"G-d, I realize I have been a talebear and I know I was wrong. I ask you to forgive me."
G-d: "Are you, daugher?"
Me: "Yes Father."
G-d; "You have gossiped about Jane...and some very ugly things you know."
Me: "I know...."
G-d: "You need to ask Jane's forgiveness and get things right with her."
Me: "Yes Father."
So I go to Jane and confess what I have done. Jane knows all I have said and more. Seems my little tales have reached her ears.
Jane, is gracious to forgive me. But Jane has been hurt. So I offer to take Jane to Starbucks and we begin to rebuild our relationship.
But it doesn't stop there.
The next step is I need to go to Terry, who I have gossiped to about Jane.
Me: "Terry, I must confess I sinned against Jane by telling ugly stories about her to you. Whether they were true or not, I was wrong amd I also sinned against you by making you think badly about Jane."
Terry: "Laini, your right. We were both wrong. And I should have stopped you. I need to go to Jane and ask her forgiveness as well."
Terry goes to Jane and ask her forgivness. But then Terry must go to her sister Jerry and her bestfriend Susans make the same confession...
While the results aren't always the same, that is what it truly means to repent.
You don't just say it: you do it.