In many ways you deserve every bit of the harshness of a negative verdict. You know the rules, and you have a record of breaking them. You can’t plead ignorance and ask for special treatment.
You often shake your finger at Me and say, “Are You looking, God? Here comes a transgression. We defy You to send down the hellfire and brimstone!”
Yet I have to say I am rather hesitant to be tough on you. I actually do listen to the words of the Yom Kippur prayers, including the quotation from the Torah (Num. 15:26), “What the people have done was unintentional, ki l’chol ha’am bish’gagah”.
There are certainly human beings who enjoy their sins and commit them on purpose. But I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for the others, however few, however many they are. They get embroiled in movements and minhagim that tempt them towards things they should avoid. They go through hard, even excruciating, experiences that shake their faith, and they no longer know which way to turn.
I don’t want anything but good for My people. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on them. Maybe I should try and face them with fewer difficult challenges and make it easier for them to follow their true, moral nature.
Maybe, though, they should help Me by showing more courage and resisting the yetzer ha’ra. Maybe they should also learn to listen to their conscience.