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I’ve had an abortion and I’m plagued by strong feelings of guilt. Any advice?

by Rabbi Yosef Loschak


Library » Life Cycle » Birth » Reproductive Issues | Subscribe | What is RSS?


We all make mistakes, Rabbis included... Obviously some are more serious than others. The general rule is that after damaging our relationship with G-d, we do “Teshuvah.” Many people translate this word as “repentance,” but that is an incorrect translation. A correct translation would be to “return” to G-d.

Throughout Chassidic literature one of the metaphors used to describe our relationship with G-d is one of a parent and a child. The parent loves his/her child unconditionally. However, if the child goes against the parent’s wishes, the child needs to rectify the situation. First, they must apologize and acknowledge that they did wrong. Then they must make a firm resolution to not repeat the mistake.

Sometimes the child must do something extra to show their true remorse and renewed commitment... going out of their way to be good
Sometimes this alone is not enough. Sometimes the child must do something extra to show their true remorse and renewed commitment. This could be doing something that they do not have to do, but is a very nice thing—going out of their way to be good.

Likewise in your situation. It seems that you already feel bad about what was done and you have no intention whatsoever to repeat the mistake, G-d forbid. Now, I would suggest doing that something extra. First, give more Tzedakah, charity. Then find a place that you can volunteer, such as a nursing home. Go there and give of yourself to the residents. By doing this you show that you really care.


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Intimacy » Reproductive Issues
Mitzvot » Repentance
Holidays » Yom Kippur » Repentance

"Tzedakah," commonly translated as charity, literally means righteousness, or the right thing to do. Giving to those in need is one of the most important of G-d's commandments.
Repentance. Or, more literally, "return" to G-d. Teshuvah involves regretting the past and making a firm resolution not to repeat the offense.
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) A follower of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
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.