Friday, October 03, 2014

Master of Forgiveness ..

Not pro-democracy crowds in Hong Kong nor an anti-Israel hatefest in some European capital. Just a bunch of Jews congregating in front of the Western Wall, begging for God's forgiveness on the evening of Kippur 2013.

"Master of forgiveness, who can examine our hearts, uncover our deepest thoughts, who speaks charitably, bedecked in glorious wonders, experienced in consolation, remember your alliance with our ancestors, look into our very souls

Master of forgiveness, have mercy on us, Yes, we have sinned against You, have mercy, we prostrate before you in remorse, have mercy."
But ... It's not so easy to get forgiveness, even if it's begged to beautiful music. In Judaism, one must go to those she/he has harmed in order to be entitled to forgiveness. One who sincerely apologizes three times for a wrong committed against another has fulfilled his or her obligation to seek forgiveness. This means that in Judaism a person cannot obtain forgiveness from God for wrongs the person has done to other people.

In other words, if you wronged another and feel guilty about it, God will not help you relieve that guilt. It's between two human beings that forgiveness is sought. Turning to God on Yom Kippur will be futile, unless you have done the heavy lifting before that.


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