Thursday, September 25, 2008

Repentance and Forgiveness


Yom Kippur canot atone for sins between one person and another, however minor the offense, until the offending party has appeased the offended party. The offender must pursue the offended, approaching him as many as three times to apologize and request forgiveness. Each time, he should bring different people with him to help him.

The offended party is not allowed to be cruel and withhold forgiveness. If the offended party does not forgive after three times, the offender has fulfilled his obligation.

There are exceptions to this rule:
1. One may withhold forgiveness if he does so to help the offender; a teacher might do this for his student, for example. One must be most careful about employing this method, though.
2. One may withhold forgiveness if the offense caused a bad reputation for the offended party, since all the people who heard about the bad reputation are not present at the time when the apology is offered.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 606:1; Mishneh Berurah 606:1-11)

Have a great day,

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