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One traditional Jewish teaching tells us that we all have a sin that belongs to us. One person may have no taste for alcohol; another takes one drink and craves it. One may not be tempted by sexual misconduct; the other is constantly fighting it. In forgiveness it is important to remember that just because we do not share another’s sin doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with our own.

Most sins are the small, humble kind. “An act of injustice is condemned,” wrote 20th century theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel, “not because a law has been violated but because a person has been hurt.” What kinds of sins characterize your life?

–David Wolpe

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