Tag Archives: forgiveness

Forgiveness is Freeing

Think about it. When you are angry it takes up a lot of your energy. It colours everything that you do or say. Until that anger is dissipated it eats away at you. Sometimes that anger never goes away.

A few years ago, before Yom Kippur, I called up my ex. We had been separated / divorced for 18 months but time had not healed me that much. I was so fed up of being angry and looking for hidden meanings where there were none, looking for more excuses to hate him. I told him that whatever had been in the past, I forgave him for. I did not want to fight anymore, I did not want to hold on to stress and tension. I didn’t just say the words. I meant them. We had both been hurt, and I asked him for forgiveness too. I spoke from the heart. It was at that moment that I truly started to heal. Letting go of what was done and said, and taking away the power from anger and resentment – I felt as if a ten ton block had been lifted off of me.

It was a short conversation, but one I will always remember. I went into Yom Kippur that year with a lighter heart. Yes I still had much to atone for, after all, none of us are perfect, but I knew that this new single mom arrangement would be ok. I felt lighter and refreshed.

As we head into Yom Kippur tomorrow night, I want you to think about the grudges you still bear. We all have them in some way, shape or form. Perhaps it is time to try to heal the wounds, perhaps it is time to try to work out a way to let the bitterness go.

I forgive those who seek to harm me in any way and have harmed me in the past. I forgive those people whose mission in life, it seems, is to cause upset and hurt in my life and the lives of those I care about. I will pray for them over Yom Kippur that they find it in their hearts to forgive themselves and find the strength to move on with their lives in a positive manner. I ask forgiveness from those whom I have hurt albeit unintentionally.

My wish for you, dear readers, is that you have a meaningful Fast. May we all be sealed in the book of Life.

Gmar Chatimah Tovah.

Days of Awe

 

Awe – “an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime <stood in awe of the king> <regard nature’s wonders with awe> “, from Merriam Webster’s online dictionary.

 

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur are around the corner. These have been called the Days of Awe forever. On these days we stand in front of God and pray to be forgiven our transgressions, and to be blessed with being written in the Book of Life.

 

Nowadays, the kids come home with lovely songs about dipping apples in honey, and the sounds the shofar makes etc, which gets them involved in the holiday, but as grown ups, do we often stop to think about the AWE of these days? These are some of my thoughts:

 

My recent trip to Israel, combined with my experiences over the last few years have fused together this year to fill my soul with what I feel is awe. I am so excited and nervous to face the Almighty on Rosh Hashannah. I cannot wait to pray to Him with a full heart, with an open soul. I feel that for perhaps the first time in my life I come to Him ready to receive His decree and to accept it in the spirit in which it is given. My telepathic pathways are open and buzzing with impatience. I have so much I want to say, but more than that, I have so much that I want to understand, that I want to feel, that I want to BE.

 

I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face as I contemplate the holiness of the days before us. I am thinking about how to improve myself as a person, as a mom, as a daughter, sister, friend. I am wondering what it is that God wants from me, from Hadassah, His child. I want to be the best Hadassah I can be, but I am not sure I even know how. We all know that we have a destiny created for us, and it’s up to us to do our bit to fulfill it, but how? How can we fulfill that when we are not told what it is?

 

At 120 when I am called before God after my time on this earth He is not going to ask why I wasn’t more like Sarah or Rebecca, Rachel or Leah, our foremothers, nor like Ruth, or Esther or Naomi. No, He will want to know why I wasn’t everything Hadassah should have been. I want, I want so much to be that person that knows who she is and where she is meant to be in her life spiritually. I want to feel that I am accomplishing what I need to as a Bat Yisrael. I want to be everything that’s good and right in this world, so that in my zechut my children, my blessed sons, will be healthy and happy and will have all they need to be God fearing Jews, to observe Hashem’s commandments and to live their life as was pre-ordained for them.

 

How can I, a simple person, ever hope to achieve the spiritual level that I wish for myself? I am human. I am flawed. I know I have my strengths and my gifts, and I thank God daily for those, but we are told to strive for perfection in our Avodat Hashem – how? How is that even possible in this day and age?

 

I should be trembling as the shofar blows – I know what teshuvah I need to do, and I am trying to do it. But teshuvah only goes so far – it’s not worth anything unless we continue to work on ourselves and improve.  If I tell God that I am sorry that I behaved in a certain way – how can I continue to behave in that way after Yom Kippur? It makes a mockery of the whole thing.

 

I pray that God gives me strength to do a pure and honest teshuvah, that He blesses me with the internal ability to grow spiritually every day that is given to me.

 

I wish you all a Ketivah VeChatimah Tovah – may you all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.