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Does a person's mental state have any bearing on their guilt for sins?


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Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Buki: does mental state have any bearing on a person_s guilt for sins?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what do you mean

Buki: I guess I'm troubled by the example of abused children

Buki: I think (and I've read) that abused kids are more likely to act out and do bad things

Buki: do they have the same responsibility and guilt for their acitons as other children?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: every one is responsible for their actions. Some people are indeed more challenged, but if they are, that means G-d gives them more strength to overcome their actions

Buki: what does it mean that "God gives them more strength to overcome their actions"?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: well it means that G-d gives each person what he needs to overcome the challenges to face in life.

Buki: ok

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: it is quite clear that we are each blessed with different talents and abilities. We are given these different strengths and weaknesses, abilities and lack thereof, based on what we need to fulfill our G-dly mission in life

Buki: that makes sense to me

Buki: ok thanks

Buki: goodnight

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: pleasure

[Ed. note: Obviously, the above is not applicable to a person who is mentally unstable due to traumatic experiences.]

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Philosophy » Free Choice

It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.