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Sunday, 11 September 2016


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Kalman Mem

When you say that lack of forgiveness = lack of emuna, is that always true?

Let's say that someone wronged me in a clear and unambiguous way. For example: Ploni stole something from me and refuses to return the item.

By every right, there's no reason for me to forgive Ploni. According to Halacha he needs to compensate me first. So in the case is actually better if I forgive?


That is good advice but what if you're on the other end of it? When you've sought forgiveness but the person refuses to even acknowledge your existence? When you've tried over and over again to discuss the issue but the person continually shuts you down? Neither one of you will have peace about the issue...


Kalman, that's a great question. You need to forgive him in your heart, but you certainly don't need to have any sort of relationship with him. You may also take him to a bet din. The point is, you must ultimately recognize that Hashem willed this to happen, and therefore not see Ploni as the cause of your suffering. Ultimately, Hashem took it away, because it's better to have something stolen from you than to suffer a harsher judgment. Ploni is just the stick in the Master's hands.


Heather, the general rule is that you do your maximum to obtain this person's forgiveness. Once you can say that you gave it your best shot, and several times at that, the ball is now in his court. You can rest easy. If they decide to not forgive you, that is no longer your concern. If I remember correctly, I think three attempts at obtaining forgiveness are what are required, but you should check with your Rabbi to make sure. If possible, give this person his space. Time usually takes away the sting, too.

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