Forgiveness, what a heavy subject. As the high holidays approach, we begin to think about forgiveness and who is it that we may forgive? Who is it that we must forgive? Those who hurt or disparage us, our children, our spouses, our heritage, our country, our leaders, our faith or even ourselves?
Recognize that I am using the words “may” and “must.” The fact that we use the word “may,” when speaking about forgiveness, illuminates the fact that it is our choice. “Must” suggests that we have no other option. When we forgive the one who has wronged us, we are in fact giving them the opportunity to apologize and wipe their slate clean and have unilaterally determined that the act is in fact forgivable. Is that our right or our obligation?
Is there a transition time between “may” and “must”? Is there a time limit on forgiveness? Must we forgive while the pain is fresh? May we allow the passage of time to dull the pain caused by the act requiring forgiveness? Does the passage of time allow us the luxury of not ever forgiving, but just forgetting? Is that good enough? Does Yom Kippur become the deadline?
While we may forgive some, it is up to Him to determine who is ultimately forgiven. Is there anyone that He must forgive?
As I said, it is a heavy subject, so please forgive me for only raising questions and not providing answers.