Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Elul 5765 - September 28, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Home and Family

Pathways to Forgiveness
By Rosally Saltsman

The following is a compilation of teachings about forgiveness from several sources, including Miriam Adahan and Rochel Frumin, and based in Torah. I would like to pass these on to you not as my own original thoughts but as the spiritual pathways I have learned to travel on, which lead not only to forgiveness but to healing ourselves and the world. May we be inscribed for health, happiness and PEACE in the coming year Shana tovoh and Gemar Chasimah tovoh!

1) Not forgiving someone keeps them in my life. If I want to protect myself from the other person, I need to forgive them and then I can release them. I imagine them walking away from me covered in the light of my forgiveness. Now I am protected from their coming back to hurt me again.

2) I think not forgiving makes me right, while the other person thinks they're right also. I assume they have forgiven me and I do the same.

3) If I don't want to forgive because that condones the other person's behavior, by forgiving them, I show that there is something to forgive and validate my feelings of hurt.

4) If I believe not being forgiving gives me power, forgiving is emulating Hashem, the greatest Power.

5) Forgiving another person is conducive to Hashem's forgiving me.

6) Forgiving and releasing a person from my life gives me power over my life.

7) Forgiveness is both humility and strength.

8) The other person is needy of compassion. I forgive the other person, because I am compassionate.

9) When I forgive others, I gain the power to forgive myself.

10) The ability to forgive is a sign of self-esteem. It means that I don't need anyone else's approval and their opinion of me isn't relevant. [Ed. I don't like this one except in the context of "My soul shall be as dust . . . "]

11) People who hurt me teach me a lesson and help me grow. I am grateful to them for that lesson.

12) People who I get angry with show me what I need to fix in myself and so I can. I am grateful to them.

13) To forgive someone is a mitzvah.

14) Resentment is pouring poison down my throat thinking it will kill someone else. Resentment and anger can lead to ill health. I forgive others so that I can remain healthy — in body, mind and soul.

15) Resentment means letting someone live in my mind, rent- free. I release my mind of resentment, forgive the other person and fill my mind with positive thoughts.

16) Forgiveness doesn't excuse the behavior, just the person.

17) If I forgive the other person, I can transcend them, like passing a slow-moving vehicle on the spiritual highway.

18) I forgive them because they don't have the tools to act differently. I can only forgive someone whose behavior is inferior to mine.

19) Forgiveness is a sign of a high level of spirituality.

20) I forgive them because I don't know their whole story.

21) Resentment is the tool of the yetzer horah to keep me from focusing on growth. Forgiveness disarms him.

22) I release the past and focus on present growth.

23) The behavior of others has nothing to do with me. It is part of them and their journey. Forgiveness is part of me.

24) Only Hashem can hurt me. No one else has power to hurt me on their own. They are messengers of Hashem, with one of two messages. Either 1) Grow from this or 2) Move on, this has nothing to do with you.

25) Forgiveness is saying no, thank you, to the abuse of others. I say no, thank you.

26) I find a way to accommodate other people's weaknesses.

Internalize and then, pass it on!


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