A prime feature of the Yom Kippur service is recitation of the 44 mistakes known as "Al Chet." That's a long list. What does it all really mean? When one begins to look at the task of teshuva (repentance), it can be overwhelming.
We've made so many mistakes this past year that it's hard to know where to begin! Clearly, if we don't have an excellent system for tackling this project, it will be very time consuming and draining. In Judaism we say that if you can get to the root of the problem, you can eliminate it entirely. That is the goal of the "Al Chet" prayer that we say so many times during Yom Kippur services.
The 44 statements comprising "Al Chet" are not a list of mistakes, but rather identify the roots of mistakes. "Change" is a process that doesn't happen immediately. Don't try to conquer too many things at once; it may be too overwhelming. Instead, choose the areas that cut closest to the root of your problems. This will maximize our success in the Teshuva process.

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