It is only natural for a person to automatically justify the practices to which he has grown accustomed.
People often defend their dubious practices by claiming, “This is how I was brought up, this is my style, this is my custom.”
Hence, when one wants to make a real confession, this confession cannot suffice with one’s own problems.
One cannot merely atone for one’s own sins within one’s own sphere, claiming that these are the only things that fall within one’s sphere of responsibility and within the sphere of one’s teshuva.
Rather, one should consider that perhaps “we and our fathers have sinned.”
He should be willing to examine not only his own personal sins but also the sins of his fathers.
Perhaps an error was made that encompasses more than what one did yesterday afternoon.
One may have to go back five years, ten years, twenty years – perhaps there is an error that has persisted for generations.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz