Shemoneh Esrei: Blessings 5 & 6: Repentance & Forgiveness
Shemoneh Esrei: 5th Blessing – Petition for Repentance
- In the fourth blessing, we asked G-d to grant us discernment and understanding. Understanding will permit us to see where we have not met our responsibilities. This blessing (T’shuvah) is a petition for the Almighty’s help in repentance. The 5th and 6th blessings are closely linked.
- To repent in Hebrew, is to “stop sinning, and obey G-d.”
- All throughout the Gospels, we read the Gospel message: “Repent, for G-d’s Kingdom is here!” This was the message of the Prophets as well. Nothing changed. We are still in need of this message.
- Only in Blessing 4 and 5 is G-d referred to as “Avinu” (Father). This reminds us of the Avinu Prayer of Yeshua and have direct correlation to two petitions in the Avinu (lead us not into temptation, and forgive us).
Scriptures for T’shuvah [Repentance]
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
...Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance...
From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 3:1-2, 8; 4:17
Turn us back to You, O HaShem, and we will be restored;
Renew our days as of old,
Hashiveinu Avinu l’Torahtechah
Bring us back, Our Father, to Your Torah
v’karaveinu Malkeinu la’avodatecha
and bring us close to You, Our King, that we may serve You
v’hachazireinu bit’shuvah sh’leimah l’fanecha
may our repentance bring us Face-to-face with You
Baruch Atah HaShem,
Blessed art Thou, HaShem
Ha rotze bit’shuvah
Who stirs in us a desire to repent
Shemoneh Esrei: 6th Blessing – Petition for Forgiveness
- As with blessing 5, this has a direct correlation to Yeshua’s Avinu Prayer. G-d is infinitely merciful toward those who lean on His mercy and seek His forgiveness.
Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Eccl 7:2
Eccl Rabbah, commenting on Eccl 7:2: ‘The living’…these are the righteous who set their death over against their heart; and why do they beat upon their heart? As though to say, ‘All is there.’ Eccl Rabbah VII:9
Scriptures for S’lichah [Forgiveness]
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'G-d, I thank You that I am not like other men - extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'G-d, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to HaShem,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our G-d,
For He will abundantly pardon.
S’lach lanu Avinu, ki chatanu,
Forgive us, Our Father, for we have sinned
M’chal lanu, Malkeinu, ki fasha’anu
Pardon us, Our King, for we have done wrong
ki mochel v’sole’ach Atah
Pardon and forgive
Baruch Atah HaShem, chanun ha marbe l’sloach.
Blessed art Thou, HaShem, Who graciously forgives.