Tuesday, June 16, 2009

forgive AND forget

I recently learned about forgiveness.  It's a mitzvah to forgive someone for something he/she did to you when they come to you and apologize. It's an even greater level to forgive someone when he/she did not even come to you to ask for forgiveness.
I left the shiur with a mission: to forgive someone I've held a grudge against for nearly four years.  Even though I thought I had forgiven her for what she did and how she acted towards me, I did not forget.  And in Yiddishkeit, it's not ok to just forgive but one needs to forget also. Because if you still remember, then it means you still hold a grudge. So I decided to honestly and completely and wholeheartedly forgive and forget the incident. Because I can truly see how though this person may have wronged me, she actually did me the biggest favor because I ended up where I did and it was all yad Hashem- truly.  (though i did not realize that at the time, of course)
I feel like a burden is now lifted off my heart. 
And I know that when I see her next week (and I know I will for sure), that I can go over to her and hug her and honestly ask how she's doing, and forget the past, because the future is so much more important.

When i think of her now, all i can do is smile. It's a funny thing, mechila (forgiveness). Totally changes everything upside and right side up.

8 comments:

G6 said...

Wow! That's amazing and a very difficult thing to do.
Sometimes, the inability "forget" causes only pain to the one who cannot forget.
It's very freeing to be able to let go that extra step... not easy... but freeing.
Kol HaKavod.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Amazing, I'm so glad you were able to forgive and forget. It's really true that feeling of relief that comes over you and you get happy again.

Recently 2 incidents happened which caused me to be in an uncomfortable situation with 2 different people. But rather than holding a grudge and being unhappy with them, I decided then and there to confront them and speak my piece and get it worked out. And it really helps to speak it out right away, it clears up miss-communications and allows you to be on good terms again, and it becomes such a relief!

nmf #7 said...

I'm curious. Playing devil's advocate here- where does it say one should forget?
I mean- don't bear a grudge, but sometimes, it pays to remember.
People have done harsh things to me, and I forgave them, but I don't want to forget- I gained a new perspective on it, and also, it could be precedent.

EsPes said...

does this mean ur back?!????!

harry-er than them all said...

im on NMF's side- i do believe it is a machlokes rishonim.

There is an interesting machlokes between pirkei avos and mesechta kallah- one says judge everyone favorably and one says judge everyone as if they were robbers.
So which one is right?

the answer is, when it directly effects you, judge them as robbers. When it has nothing to do with you, favorably.

The torah doesnt require us to be super-human. It understands that we are humans, and if it were possible for normal people to reach that level, it would be true. (lo nitna torah lemalachei hashares- the torah wasnt given to angels)

tembow said...

in response to nmf#7 and harry:

I asked the Rav from whom I had heard this idea mentioned and he showed me in the Rambam where it's mentioned. If you look in Rambam Hilchos Daos perek 6 : 9 it says: If someone does something to a person and he doesn't want to give him rebuke for it or to talk to him about it (because the person who sinned against him is a simple person or wasnt thinking about what he was doing) and he forgives him with his full heart and doesn't tell him anything about what happened, this is middas chassidus.
This is what the Rav was saying... of course, we are human and it's hard to forget when someone wrongs you because you feel hurt in some way. But it is an extraordinary level to forgive him/her (and not even to mention it to them).
B"H i think this is what i was able to achieve, through the effect of this shiur last week.

(Harry, feel free to look up this Rambam and disprove what i said :)

nmf #7 said...

So it is middos chassidus- because as Harry said, the Torah doesn't expect us to be perfect.
But very interesting- thanks!

nmf #7 said...

Alright- looked it up with Mr. NMF and this is what we found.

It's talking about a simple person who offended you, one that you wouldn't even deem worthy of a rebuke.

And, it doesn't say anything about forgeting, just about not hating in your heart. My question was why is that Middos Chassidus...but it doesn't say to forget.

Still curious. Thanks!

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