I would like to discuss that aspect of Mechilah of Yom Kippur. We know that all year round, in order to obtain forgiveness, you need to ask Mechilah from the person against whom you sinned. But on Yom Kippur you need something called Ritzuy. The question is, what’s the difference between the year round Mechilah and Yom Kippur’s Ritzuy? Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik gives a beautiful answer. He says all year round we have Mehcilah, plain forgiveness, but on Yom Kippur, a person must make an effort to restore the original relationship with the person he sinned against, or in some cases Hashem. Rav Soloveitchik also adds that just like for a Mikveh, there is no such thing as partially Tahor, so too there’s no such thing as partial forgiveness. Hashem is like a Mikveh.
What’s the point of going to the Mikveh? What does it accomplish? The Darchei Moshe answers that the point of the Mikveh is Teshuvah. When you go into the Mikveh you are reborn a new person with a clean slate. It is my hope that we all have a spiritual and uplifting Yom Kippur and be Zocheh to return to Yerushalayim.
-Adapted from a shiur at TABC by Rabbi Chaim Jachter.