Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And another one

I read a very interesting article on the topic of forgiveness. Lately, i've been researching a lot for school since I'm getting started on thesis work. Without getting into much detail, most of the articles i read have to do with coping with sexual abuse and religion.

This one article talked about the different perceptions of people when it came to forgiveness, many of which were religiously influenced concepts. Basically, forgiveness is considered to be a healing factor and an important step to recovery depending on the meaning it has to the individual who is forgiving. For some, the actual idea of letting go is synonymous with forgiving while for some forgiving is more about growing through sufferance, accepting what has been and allowing the other person to be free of guilt.

It's an interesting idea that can be applied to more than one situation. It happens to be difficult to read about sexual abuse and forgiving, but then again, it depends why you forgive.

Then I started wondering, what is the Jewish take on forgiveness? Don't we forgive for the sake of the other person? In light of the sexual abuse research, it's a big deal and a unbelievable hard task. I can only begin to understand the grandeur of people who are able to forgive.

But then I also wonder, what's in for you in forgiving? According to Jewish law in philosophy, what is your obligation in forgiving and why is it so?


  1. If everything that happens to you is according to Hashem's will, than the other person was just a stick in the hands of Hashem, and if that person didn't do whatever they did, somebody else would have to you. Of course, this doesn't mean I can be a jerk... but the point I am getting at, is that you forgive the other person because it wasn't really them that did the act, it still was willed and allowed by Hashem. Doesn't mean you have to be buddies with the person ever again, but since Hashem wants us to be like Him, and He forgives, so to should we.

  2. I don't have the precise sources in front of me at the moment, but I think that this is the basic halachic view of forgiveness.
    You only need to forgive someone after this person has apologized to you three times. If this person has apologized (sincerely! and shown that it is sincere) three times and you have not forgiven them, then the sin is on you. There is, otherwise, no obligation for you to forgive. However, you are forbidden from holding a grudge or seeking vengeance.

    Dan, if you attribute everyone's actions purely to the will of Hashem, aren't you discrediting their own free will?

  3. As I am quiet new in Jewish, looking around for some Jewish information> Got something important here. Nice to get it.
    This piece of video helped me forgive and let go of my frustration.