One Way Street to Salvation?
First of all, the sin offering was intended only for unintentional sins, and served as a means of motivating individuals to true repentance. Numerous passages, including Hosea 14, tell us that today our prayers take the place of sacrifices. In addition, we read that
"The sacrifices of G-d are a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17) and "I desire kindness and not sacrifices, the knowledge of G-d more than burnt offerings."
Through repentance, prayer, fasting, and doing what is right, Judaism teaches that everyone has the ability to return to G-d directly.
This concept is beautifully illustrated in the Books of Jonah and Esther, when people (both Jewish and non-Jewish) repented, prayed to G-d and were forgiven for their sins without any sacrifices. As we are taught in Ezekiel 18:27, "When the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive." The personal relationship that the Jewish people have had with G-d has always allowed us to turn directly to Him at any time, as it says in Malachi 3:7: "Return to Me, and I shall return to you."
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