“It is written in holy texts that the principle rectification for a person who has erred in this matter, G-d forbid, is that he should strengthen his learning of Torah from now on for the rest of his life, and the Torah will purify him."

The great Rabbi, the Chofetz Chaim, compiled the halachic compendium, the “Mishna Berurah.” He teaches that the principle rectification for sexual wrongdoing known as Tikun HaBrit is through the study of Torah:

“It is written in holy texts that the principle rectification for a person who has erred in this matter, G-d forbid, is that he should strengthen his learning of Torah from now on for the rest of his life, and the Torah will purify him. As the Sages have said on the verse, “Your springs shall gush forth” (Mishle, 5:16),  the words of Torah are compared to a spring of water – just as a spring of water purifies the impure, so does the Torah purify the people of Israel.

“Also it is also found in the Zohar, “Once Rabbi Yose was on the road and he met Rabbi Hiya and said to him, ‘In reference to the verse, ‘Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged by sacrifice nor offering for ever’ (Shmuel 1,3:4), the meaning is that through sacrifices and offerings it will not be purged, but it can be purged by words of Torah. Why? Because the words of Torah rise above all of the sacrifices in the world….’ Rabbi Hiya responded, ‘This is certainly so, for whomever busies himself with Torah learning, it benefits him more that all of the sacrifices and offerings, and even though punishment has been decreed against him from Above, it is annulled. Behold, a man is never purified except by the words of the Torah. For this reason, the words of Torah are not susceptible to impurity, because they stand ready to cleanse the impure’ (Zohar, Kedoshim, 80B).

“This teaching does not mean that by Torah study alone, without doing any acts of kindness, it is possible to be cleansed, for our Sages have already taught that someone who says, ‘I have only Torah,’ he doesn’t even have Torah to his credit. Rather, the intent is that the principle rectification is through Torah study for a person who is able to understand the learning. Nevertheless, a person must involve himself with acts of kindness and have compassion on his fellow man, and this will atone for his sins, as it says, ‘Through loving-kindness and truth sin will be atoned’ (Mishle, 16:6). And then Heaven will have compassion on him to lengthen his days, as it says, “Whoever has compassion on his fellow man, Heaven will have compassion on him.’ And the merit of the Torah will be a shield to him. As it says in the Midrash Tanchuma: if a man commits a sin deserving of the punishment of death from Heaven, what should he do to live? If he was accustomed to learn one chapter a day, let him learn two. If he was accustomed to learn one page a day, let him learn two. And if he does not know how to learn, let him at least busy himself with charity and righteous acts and live, as it says, ‘He who pursues charity and deeds of kindness will find live, righteousness and honor’ (Mishle, 21:21). And the main goal of his Torah learning should be to carry out its teachings, for whoever studies the Torah and doesn’t observe it, it would have been better for him if he had  never been born, as our Sages have taught, and furthermore, his learning will lack the power to defend him, may G-d have mercy.”

(From the “Collected Writings of the Chofetz Chaim on Talmud Torah,” Pg.166, Beit Yechiel Publishers, Jerusalem. And see, Shulchan Aruch, 615:2; and Mishna Berurah, subchapter 3, there, and Shar HaZion, subchapters 5 and 6)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts


Too many times throughout history, we have failed to learn the simple rule of “No pain no gain,” and we have always suffered for it afterwards.  Hasn’t the time come for us to sacrifice a little for HaShem and His Land?  Then we will surely receive Divine assistance and defeat our enemies forever more.


Throughout his entire life he wandered around, with long hair like a hippie, detached from society, far from Judaism, living among the Philistines, marrying their daughters and using his strength for nonsense and vanities.  So what could possibly explain his place in the Book of Shoftim?


When the pursuit of material pleasures causes large sectors to cast off the Torah and its teachings, they will distance themselves from Torah scholars and deem them superfluous. They may even come to despise and ridicule them.


Certainly we must not allow the inclination toward factionalism, the threat of which is strongest at the inception of a political movement, to deter us from justice and truth, from love of man — both the collective and the individual — from love for Israel, and from the duty of sanctity unique to Israel. We are obligated not only to be holy individuals but also, and especially, to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.


The Torah is the soul of the entire world and its essential substance; it provides direction and imparts significance. It is the world’s inner mechanism. In fact, the Torah preceded the world; it is the blueprint of the world and sets its agenda – i.e., it teaches us the way the world must be and the way it will be.