Monday, October 3, 2011

Seeking forgivness

These days, aseret yeme teshuba, we should prepare ourselves for the most important day of the year: Yom Kippur. The day in which we present ourselves before God, repenting of our transgressions and begging haShem Almighty for finding us deserving of another year of life. On Yom Kippur, we are told by the Rabbis, we are completely forgiven from any ritual transgressions (Shabbat, Kashrut, Tefilin, etc.) we had committed against God, provided we take responsibility for them (without making excuses!), we confess them and we make the decision to abandon them.

What about the offenses against other people? Are they too automatically forgiven on Yom Kippur? Absolutely not. Before Yom Kippur, we need to seek(not just 'ask'!!!) forgiveness from those we have harmed or offended. In preparation for Yom Kippur, then, we should carefully recall who we might have harmed, including friends, colleagues and especially members of our family.

Asking forgiveness is probably one of the most challenging acts we might need to do in our lives. Because of the embarrassment involved in admitting our fault and say "I WAS WRONG".

We might also feel very insecure. Perhaps the offended friend is never going to forgive us.

In this case, the Rabbis said: "One should take along three people to intercede for him and plead with the offended to forgive him. If necessary, he must repeat and try three times as his penitence. ... If he asks forgiveness three times and the other refuses to forgive, he need not return again..." (Meam Loez)

If one have offended his or her father or mother, there is no limit to the times one needs to go and ask for their forgiveness.


Click to HERE to watch a top Palestinian official explaining "why the world must'nt know what's our real goal"