This past week I was selected to serve as a juror at the Fulton County Superior Court. The case for which I was selected was a criminal case. It was interesting to note that forgiveness was not part of the proceedings. Saying sorry and being forgiven would not impact whether the jury would vote guilty or not.
On the other hand, in Hashem’s court on Rosh Hashanah – on the day we call Yom Hadin (Day of Judgment) – saying sorry and asking Hashem for forgiveness plays a primary role in what the verdict will be.
And how do we earn Hashem’s forgiveness? One way to do so is by forgiving others. How many times do we feel aggrieved by another? Do we hold on to this grudge for days, months, or even years? How quick and easy do we make it for another to say sorry to us and for us to truly forgive? The way to earn Hashem’s forgiveness is to forgive others.
Every night before we go to sleep, there is a prayer we say in which we declare the following: “I forgive anyone who has wronged me. Whether it was something that impacted my self-esteem, whether it impacted me physically, emotionally or financially, I hereby declare that I forgive them.”
Hashem tells us that in return that he, too, forgives us for anything we may have done wrong.
May we all be blessed to receive from Hashem a “not guilty” verdict and may we be blessed with a sweet, healthy and prosperous new year.