Atonement without the Temple
Iva Petrickova from Prague, Czech Republic wrote:
Since there is no more the Temple in Jerusalem to make sacrifices in, how can a person be purified from his/her sin? Is there any way for a person to make sure his/her sins were forgiven and are not counted to him/her any more?
Dear Iva Petrickova,
Sacrifices are not necessary to gain atonement. First, the person must repent properly. That includes discontinuing the sin, regretting having done it and confessing the sin before G-d. Then the person should pray for forgiveness and purification, and trust in Hashem's mercy. If a repentant person finds himself in the same scenario in which he previously sinned, but this time he withstands the test, that's an indication that his repentance is complete and his sin has been forgiven. (But you shouldn't put yourself in a "sin situation" in order to test yourself.)