Forgiveness is a Holy Endeavour By Rabbi Ari Kayser
Forgiveness is a Holy Endeavour
There is a little-known poetic prayer recited every night before going to sleep. The prayer is a statement of wholehearted forgiveness to anyone who has wronged us during the day (see full text at the bottom). Forgiveness is not easy. It is an act of letting go, a practice in humility, a meditation of trust in the fact that all will be OK even if we choose to let it go.
We are a few days away from Yom Kippur, the Day of Forgiveness, widely recognized as the holiest day of the year. Why is forgiveness a holy endeavour?
Forgiveness is an act of courage. It is a mind-set of freedom. Freeing ourselves from the chains of being affected by the thoughts or actions of others. It is a declaration that there is meaning to what transpires, even if the outcome was not as we had hoped for. Forgiveness is holy because it makes me the master of my own inner world.
Imagine being able to hit the reset button on all of the day's frustrations, disappointments, and let-downs. Imagine opening up our hearts to acceptance and love and compassion for others, instead of resentment, hate and despair. Contemplating forgiveness each night, after briefly reviewing the day’s significant moments, can truly change the way feel about people, and the way we allow people to affect us.
Mahatma Gandhi said that "Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong". Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed "Let no man pull you low enough to hate him". Leo Tolstoy declared "Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace".
May this year see peace increase.
May we look at the other as a brother.
May we know that to live is to forgive.
Full Text here:
Master of the Universe, I hereby forgive anyone who angered or antagonized me, or who sinned against me. Whether against my body, whether against my property, whether against my honour, or whether against anything that is mine. Whether they did so accidentally, wilfully, carelessly, or intentionally. Whether through speech, whether through action, whether in deliberation, or whether with fleeting thought. I forgive every person, and may they not be punished on account of me.