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Teshuvah & The Importance Of Forgiving

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Teshuvah & Mechila ❤

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


How do I do Teshuvah?

Do I have to forgive my friend if I got really hurt by his actions?


Every teshuva process has the basic elements: (See the Rambam, Hilchot Teshuvah, chapter 2)  

1. Regretting the action.  

2. Verbalizing repentance to Hashem such as during tahanun, (in the prayers would be a good time to become filled with remorse and regret)  

3. Accepting upon yourself never to return to the sin or to the situations that put you in that test.  

4. Lastly, of course stopping the sinful actions.

A person must be easy to appease and ready to make up and forget past grievances. If the sinner approaches his victim and apologizes sincerely once or twice, the victim should wholeheartedly forgive and forget any feud between them. Chazal stated that the sooner someone forgives those who have sinned against him, the happier the sages are with his behavior. [1] It is forbidden to ignore the entreaties of another person for forgiveness and refuse to grant it. Chazal taught ( Rosh HaShanah 17a) that whoever "overlooks his measures" and forgives the harm others have caused him will be rewarded that all his sins are also overlooked by Heaven. Conversely, if someone refuses to forgive others even after they apologize and pay for any damages they have caused, he will not be forgiven for his sins by Heaven, either. The Zohar ( Parashat Teztzaveh, 186a) taught that if someone is not willing to cleanse his heart of the grudges he bears against others, then the teffilot he recites on Yom Kippur are cast into mud instead of being inserted in the King's Crown. The Eliya Rabba (606:1) likewise cited the Kabbalists as teaching that if someone harbors hatred for other jews in his heart on Yom Kippur, his teffilot will be ignored. We see from this how important it is to open our hearts and forgive our fellow brothers and sisters and B'ezrat Hashem, Hashem will give us another year of life, happiness and all the blessings. Amen!


[1]. Rambam, Chovel Umazik 5:9,10; Shulchan Aruch, Chosen Mishpat 422:1.

See also Yalkut Yosef, English Edition, Yamim Nora’im, p. 312.

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