Wednesday, August 26, 2009

need help understanding something

warning: any comment that attempts to bash the rabbi that said this will NOT be published.

ok, so i'm in the middle of typing the rabbi's answers to some questions from my website. this is the last paragraph of one answer....

"Most siddurim, in krias shema al hamita have a paragraph which begins by declaring forgiveness for anyone who ever harmed me physically or financially. Afterwards, the paragraph continues by asking for forgiveness and help to never sin. It seems that before we can expect forgiveness for our shortcomings, we have to confirm our belief in forgiveness by forgiving others."

less than a month before yom hadin, where does this leave me??


  1. It says you must forgive, except when someone embarrasses you publicly. Then, even if the person asks you forgiveness 3 times, you don't need to forgive.
    You case, among other things, certainly involves public humiliation and you are not required to forgive.

    About physically, I'm not so sure this includes everything. Just as there are things written in the Torah which seem to encompass everything but are then defined to be something very narrow in Gemara, I'd imagine same thing here. Somebody getting punched or kicked is one thing. But what if, let's say, someone cut off somebody's finger. That's certainly not same thing.

  2. That's a very scary question that I've had for close to 6 years LS. For the fear of sounding cliché, it's probably better just to say '... lost...' That's how I feel. Even after watching the video posted by happy 7, which was brilliant, it's still something that bothers me. If you come up with anything, let me know please.

  3. happy 7, do you know how long it took me to figure out who you are???

    sorry, i forgot to wish you a happy seven, six, five, four, three, two, one....but happy everything now!!

    moshe-i don't think i was publicly humiliated by anyone but myself. care to explain what you mean by that?

    shocked-i'll certainly let you know if i find any answers.

  4. Right, so just because he caused it indirectly, doesn't mean he's not responsible. Were you embarrassed after telling your parents, therapists, etc? And who caused it, he did.

    In teen comedies, occasionally either a guy steals girls' clothes or vice versa while they're swimming or something. Did the person cause the embarrassment? Not directly, no, but in reality, yeah.

  5. I truly believe that God understands........

    He knows,
    What happened to us....
    Where we've been........(emotionally)
    Where we are now...
    and.... he knows our potential....

    I don't think God judges so harshly.... and strongly.....

    You are his child... don't ever forget that.......

    For today.... do what you can.... and if you have it in your heart to forgive in the future.... then......

    I personally feel that such greatness was reserved for "great" people....not for us simple sufferers............


  6. Dear Shefele

    I think that it is a major problem that this passuk in the Ari and Nussach-Sefard Sidurim should give YOU, of all people anguish.

    So I would deem it a shortcoming of the sidur and not of you. Sorry if I am that plain.

    What I think about forgiving:

    1)I do not think the Torah asks you to forgive before damage was repaired. Please check this with a rabbi.

    If you can not yet live a normal life, damage obviously was not repaired, and it is not yet time for forgiving.

    2) Even once the damage is repaired, I do not think the Torah asks you to forgive without proper, sincere excuse.

    3) By no means should you feel that you are put under pressure because of this.
    I think this passage is thought to apply to daily, small offenses, but not to major ones.

    And even for the daily, small, offenses, there are really not many people who take it seriously. How many people who say this passuk are still broges the next day? How many are still broges after Yom Kippur (for small things)?

    4) In the particular field of sexual abuse it is deemed a serious problem that victims are asked to forgive (during psychological treatment or in the framework of religion). The more "modern" approach is not to put anyone under pressure to forgive (especially in view of the fact that few of the perpetrators are brought to justice and repent).

    5) Instead of feeling put under pressure to forgive, you might just say "This is the damage you caused me today".

  7. PS: It did help me to allocate the damage to the one who caused it, and now body memories are much more limited and they feel less intrusive than before. But I had less things to cope with.

  8. You aren't expected to simply forgive right away. Of course that takes a lot of time and changes. It's just something to work on. At least, first understand the meaning and importnace of forgiveness.Work on forgiving other, smaller things from others (it's much easier to start with someone who pushed in line or something). We have no obligation to forgive someone who is still doing that wrong, or if forgiving will cause harm to continue. We may not even be obligated to forgive someone who isn't at least somewhat sincerely sorry (don't take this as fact, i'm unsure). Just work on what understanding you are able to at this point, even just of the general principles. It'll come along from there.


c'mon, i know you're reading this! what do you think?