A Different Type of Sin

The following occurred when the 3rd Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch was a young boy of ten:[1]

Once, on Yom Kippur, after a short break from the prayers, he returned to find that someone had taken his machzor (prayer book).

One of the chassidim who witnessed what had occurred, motioned to the boy, saying:

“Come let’s recite the “Al Cheit” confession together from my machzor.”

“No,” responded the young Menachem Mendel, “for my ‘Al Cheit’ is totally different than your ‘Al Cheit.’

When his grandfather, the Alter Rebbe, heard what had transpired, he said:

“Indeed, the ‘Al Cheit’  of my grandson is akin to the verse (Yechezkel 45:18) that states, ‘ve-chiteita et hamikdash’ and translates that ‘you shall purify the altar.’

Indeed, though we all recite the ‘Al Cheit,’ no two people recite it the same, as each of us sin in vastly different ways.

[1] Sefer HaSichot, 5705 Pg. 22.

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