Al Chet 20

Exploring the Al Chet Prayer
Rabbi Shraga Simmons

20. For the mistakes we committed before You against those who know, and those that do not know.

Ask yourself:

  • Have I wronged people behind their backs?
  • Have I wronged people to their faces?

Al Chet # 20
Roots of Mistakes
by George Brock

The Sin:  The Mistakes we committed before You against those who know and against those that do not know.

  • Have I wronged anyone behind their back?
  • Have I wronged anyone to their face?

The Battle:  Is between- World changers, those who with the help of G-d, practice T'shuvah to make the world 'a better place'  {vs} Those who make excuses.

The Cause: 

  • 'Needless hatred'- which is equal to all 3 of the cardinal sins.
  • It is the opposite of 'Emuna' and the cause of the destruction of the second Temple and why the Jews are still in exile today.

The Victory:

The Victory comes when- One realizes that in every 'moment' one has a choice regarding his attitude.

It's not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled (or) how the doer of deeds could have done the deeds better.

It's the Man of 'truth'- who exercises his emotions with Emuna and vocally tells himself that 'Everything is from Hashem, Everything is for my ultimate good and Everything is for a purpose. Whatever happens to us is the result of Hashem's compassion, mercy and love for us.


  • In time, by training ourselves in Emuna, to let our intellect become subservient to our Emuna. This enables us to overcome the mistakes we committed before You against 'those who know' and 'those who do not know'.