The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are dedicated to teshuva, commonly translated as “repentance” or “return.” According to the Rambam’s classic formulation, repentance consists of three elements: regret, determination not to repeat the sin in the future, and confession. In many ways it sounds relatively simple… though in practice, it’s often much more difficult. Moreover, from a psychological perspective, the processes of repenting, apologizing, and forgiving are very complex.
What does it mean to experience shame, and how is the regret required by Jewish law different from the paralyzing shame that psychologists discourage? Can someone truly experience shame when that person still reaps the benefits of his wrongdoing? Is apologizing to someone different from asking for forgiveness – and what, exactly, is forgiveness, anyway? Are there techniques that can make it easier for us to forgive those who have hurt us? Is it ever wrong to apologize? And what if someone is convinced that he or she is simply unredeemable?
In order to discuss these issues from both religious and psychological perspectives, Scott spoke with marriage and family therapist Elisheva Liss on the podcast.
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com