How to do Teshuva

How does one do teshuva?

There are differences of opinion among the Rabbis how one does teshuva.[1] The Rambam, one of our greatest Rabbis, outlined the different steps of Teshuva below (For in-depth please see Rambam Teshuva 2:5):

1. Regret: Acknowledging your misdeeds, recognizing the damage, and feeling sincere regret for what you have done.

2. Confession: If it is teshuva between you and G-d, you must verbalize your misdeeds out loud to G-d but soft enough so that no one else can hear you. If it is teshuva between you and someone else, that you must ask forgiveness from the person you wronged directly.

3. Resolution: Sincerely resolve to change your ways. This may involve resolving to stop continuing your misdeeds and coming up with a plan so that you do not revert to your prior ways.

[1] (Rambam Teshuvah 2:2 lists these 3 and abandoning sin. Sha’arei Teshuivah Perek 1 gives 20 steps, and Sefer Charedim and Orchos Tzadikim agree. Sefer ha’Toda’ah (35) lists abandoning sin, regret and Confession. Hakdmas Derech Pikudecha lists abandoning sin, regret and Resolution.)


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