October 01, 2014

Please Forgive Me and G'mar Chatimah Tovah!

Yom Kippur is just a couple days away. That means our fates are nearly sealed for this year. But it’s not too late to atone!

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are probably the most religiously observed Jewish holidays. Anyone who’s been to a synagogue on these holidays knows how they swell to accommodate the masses who don’t normally set foot in a shul.  And for good cause. The "high holidays" are the time when we as Jews try to "return" to God, if only for a short time, to plead for another year; perhaps a better year. As of Rosh Hashanah, the verdict on each of us has already been inscribed in the book of life. But it isn’t until the end of Yom Kippur that our fate is finalized, sealed and filed away for the year.

According to the Torah, God will cleanse us of our sins if we atone. He’s pretty merciful like that. However, that type of forgiveness only applies to sins committed against God. What God does not forgive are transgressions against people. Jewish tradition holds that we can only be forgiven by the very people we hurt. Easier said than done, sure. But then again, the humbling experience of truly asking for forgiveness is why it is so powerful and important.

Good news is, it’s not too late to ask for forgiveness from those we hurt and it’s not too late to grant it to those who hurt us.

We wish you a g’mar chatimah tovah, a good final inscription [in the Book of Life]. May this year be the best one yet! Please forgive me if I hurt you in any way. And I forgive you without reservation! =)


More on asking for forgiveness here.