Repentance / Teshuvah / Taubah

  • Yosef
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Unlike Christianity, neither Judaism or Islam accepts that concept of original sin; the belief that all people have inherited Adam and Eve’s sin of disobeying the Creator’s instructions in the Garden of Eden. Instead both faiths believe that each person bears responsibility for their own deeds, which means the act of sin can only be rectified through personal repentance (Teshuvah / Taubah) and not through a third party.

In Christianity repentance implies a reversal of one’s inherited sinful conduct – a recognition of past shortcomings, and a firm resolution to change in the future. While The concept of Teshuvah / Taubah as “return” emphasizes the fundamental spiritual potential of every person. One who performs Teshuvah / Taubah is not rectifying a sin inherited from Adam, but returning to the potential they were born with.

6 Steps of Taubah / Teshuvah

As laid out by Ali Bin Abi Taalib (PBUH) and by Maimonides (Z”KL)

Islam Judaism
1. Stopping the sin immediately 1. Stopping the sin immediately
2. Feeling intense, all-enveloping regret and remorse for having committed the sin 2. Feeling intense, all-enveloping regret and remorse for having committed the sin
3. Confessing the sin to Allah 3. Confessing the sin to the Creator
4. Asking Allah to forgive him 4. Resolving firmly to never commit that sin again
5. Resolving firmly to never commit that sin again 5. Testifying to the Creator never to repeat the sin
6. Returning the dues to the one who was wronged or offering expiation for that sin, if necessary 6. Returning the dues to the one who was wronged or offering expiation for that sin, if necessary

It must also be noted that during the times of the Jewish temples when a benei Yisrael sinned he was obligated to bring a sacrifice to atone for his mistake. However, even though the offering was central to the ritual, the most essential part of the act was the Teshuva discussed above.

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Repentance / Teshuvah / Taubah