Sirach 34:31Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus
28 When one builds and another tears down, what do they gain but hard work? 29 When one prays and another curses, to whose voice will the Lord listen? 30 If one washes after touching a corpse, and touches it again, what has been gained by washing? 31 So if one fasts for his sins, and goes again and does the same things, who will listen to his prayer? And what has he gained by humbling himself?
Mishnah Yoma 8:9Mishnah
With regard to one who says: I will sin and then I will repent, I will sin and I will repent, Heaven does not provide him the opportunity to repent, and he will remain a sinner all his days. With regard to one who says: I will sin and Yom Kippur will atone for my sins, Yom Kippur does not atone for his sins. Furthermore, for transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person. Similarly, Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya taught that point from the verse: “From all your sins you shall be cleansed before the Lord” (Leviticus 16:30). For transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person. In conclusion, Rabbi Akiva said: How fortunate are you, Israel; before Whom are you purified, and Who purifies you? It is your Father in Heaven, as it is stated: “And I will sprinkle purifying water upon you, and you shall be purified” (Ezekiel 36:25). And it says: “The ritual bath of Israel is God” (Jeremiah 17:13). Just as a ritual bath purifies the impure, so too, the Holy One, Blessed be He, purifies Israel.
Notes and References
"... The book of Ben Sira, a work at the fringes of the Jewish biblical canon, posed a different sort of problem for the rabbis.13 The rabbis affirm that Ben Sira is not included in the biblical canon (t. Yad. 2:13). Nevertheless, it is clear that the book enjoyed widespread popularity in both rabbinic and non-rabbinic circles (Leiman 1991, 99–102). Indeed, the content of Ben Sira is consistent with rabbinic wisdom statements and is cited frequently in rabbinic literature (Segal 1958, 37–42); several rabbis even take credit for teachings found in the book (Pirkei Avot 4:4; b. Shabbat 11a). There is not an obvious pattern to the subject matter or verses that the rabbis cite, although Tal Ilan (2006) notes that a significant percentage of them concern women. Other subject matter quoted include attitudes toward esoteric knowledge, appropriate social conduct and manners, and hospitality (Labendz 2006, 381). Of course, Ben Sira’s famous identification of wisdom with Torah resembles that found in rabbinic literature, even if the rabbis never quote Sirach 24. Whether the rabbis would be willing to rely upon a non-canonical work as a source of wisdom regardless of its content, however, was an open question ..."
Mermelstein, Ari "Wisdom and the Rabbis" in Adams, Samuel L., and Matthew J. Goff (eds.) Wiley Blackwell Companion to Wisdom Literature (pp. 368-388) Wiley-Blackwell, 2020
Thank you for your submission!