Orthodox Judaism/atonement


Greetings,Im a Christian and would like to ask your opinion concerning Atonement.I believe that my faith would not even exist without the Law and the Prophets and are the roots of my faith.I believe that the conception of the atonement and therefore salvation for many Christians may be incorrect.It is looked at mostly as a sin debt that must be paid to satisfy a vengeful God rather than something provided by a benevolent God to His people in order to make them clean in good faith putting away evil from their hearts that they may approach Him and be blessed.My problem with this as a Christian is that it is looked at simply as a debt paid leaving no more responsibility to God to live righteously and to continue to draw close to God for His mercy and blessings of life.What to say Sir?

Hi Douglas,

On the one hand G-d expects punishment for sins.  Otherwise sin would loose its meaning.  On the other hand G-d has mercy on His creatures and wants them to succeed.  G-d therefore created atonement so that man can start anew to serve G-d.

The words "debt that must be paid to satisfy a vengeful G-d" are disturbing because it sounds like the problem may lie with G-d (G-d forbid).  The problem is with us and us alone.  We have failed, we have offended, we have taken liberties not due to us, we do not deserve to be considered after sinning.  The fact that atonement exists speaks to the tremendous trait of mercy.


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David Rosenblum


I am an ex-student of yeshiva and I like to be presented with Torah study problems. If you have studied the Torah and have questions on the subject matter, I want to hear about it. I am not a Rabbi and not qualified to decide halachic issues. I am still interested in halachic questions for which I can sometimes offer general guidelines or present decisions in halachic works such as Mishna Berurah. I welcome questions from non-Jewish people but I cannot respond to religious references that are not part of Judaism. If you are working on a paper or doing research and want general information on a Jewish subject, I may or may not satisfy your need, depending on how comfortable I am with the question. If you have a personal problem, I am not qualified to help you but I will do what I can to offer you some assistance.


yeshiva student

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