Neilah on Yom Kippur
Sins of Tzadikim
Rav Simcha Ber Halberstam of Tzeshinov author of Divrei Simcha once retold how the holy Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk once stopped himself during Maariv on Motzaei Yom Kippur. He began to ponder the fact that now on Motzaei Yom Kippur he was again reciting the silent shemone esrei and reciting the blessing asking Hashem for forgiveness, "Forgive us Hashem for we have sinned."
He began to think and ponder for what sins and transgressions could we possibly be asking forgiveness and absolvement for? Just now, we have completed the Yom Kippur service for Neilah and presumably all of our past sins were absolved and atoned for, and since that short time span from then till now during the Maariv service only a few minutes have passed. And if so, what sins are we now again asking Hashem for forgiveness for?
So thinking, the Rebbe Reb Elimelech began to go over his "misdeeds" and thoughts and he began scrutinizing and examining himself. So doing he realized that in the mere last few minutes and seconds between Neilah and now he figured that according to his calculations he had already transgressed and sinned four hundred times! When Rabbi Elazar Schif retold this story as he had heard it from Rav Itzikel of Pshevorsk he added that when the holy Pshevorsker told this story he concluded: "I wish I myself had a portion of some of those "sins and transgressions!"
(Imrei Devash reprinted in Noam HaEysanim p73)
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