I’m Sorry:Shevous page 18B-19

The Shikkerdovid always says that we must find moral or ethical ideas from our learning.

Shevous daf 18b-19 quotes a fragment of the Mishna that talks about the pasuk in the Torah Vayikra 5;2-3 where a person who was in the Temple not knowing touched by a creepy crawly thing and later found out. He must bring a sacrifice According to the Misha there is a dispute between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer.

The Talmud on 18 asks what is the dispute?  The dispute is over the following fact pattern:   The fact pattern is when you touched a Sheretez or a Nevila (dead animal) and the person did not know which one it was. Regardless of which one, he is Tamei (impure). According to Rabbi Eliezear he must know exactly what he touched before he brings the sacrifice as atonement.  Rabbi Akiva says exact knowledge of what he touched is not necessary.

What the difference? The person certainly knows he touched something and is Tamei? Why does he need to know exactly what did the damage? Rabbi Elieszer cites the part of the pasuk that states  “it became known to him the sin that he sinned.” The verse implies he knows what was the cause

Here is the ethical limud:  It is not enough to say sorry.  One must know exactly the implications of his error.  If is a sin man to fellow man, he must feel or understand the pain he might have caused. He must realize that his actions caused pain and somehow apologize in a manner that reflects true contrition.   It is often easy to say sorry,  but  hard to change.  Rabbi Eliezer’s position requires investigation, reflection and understanding of what went wrong.  A real apology requires reflection and change.

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