Forgive and Remember

The Need to Forgive

Of course, if those prayers by the wronged party are successful, then the transgression is absolved and forgiven by God, not by man and thus it is no longer a matter of ‘between man and man’. The ‘wrong-doing’ changes its ontological status from ‘bein adam le-chavero’ (between a man and his friend) to ‘bein adam la-Makom’ (between man and God, lit. ‘the place’). Why this is relevant is explicated further in the text.

“Not only must one who sins against one’s fellow seek forgiveness from them, but the one sinned against is duty bound to forgive. ‘Man should be pliant as a reed, not hard like the cedar’ in granting forgiveness .. If the injured party refuses to forgive, even when the sinner has come before him three times in the presence of others and asked for forgiveness, then he is in turn deemed to have sinned. He is called akhzari (“cruel”).”

Reb Nachman

Reb Nachman of Breslov, a passionate, kind and holy teacher, was the grandson of the Ball Shem Tov and the founding Rebbe of the Breslover chassidic dynasty.

He taught ‘It is even good to do silly things in order to cheer oneself up.’ And other good stuff.

The quote of R Nachman, ‘Imitate God by being compassionate and forgiving. He will in turn have compassion on you, and pardon your offenses’, is used at the end of some writings by Rabbi David Rosen, formerly chief rabbi of Ireland.