We All Require Forgiveness

Elul 22/August 28, 2013—  A man traveling on a hot day grew weary and sat down to rest on a rock. A snake slipped toward him, but a gust of wind came, snapped a branch from a tree and killed the snake. When the man awoke and stepped away from the rock, it shifted and slipped off the cliff. Rabbi Abba saw what had happened and asked, “What is your merit that you have been saved from death twice?” The man answered, “I never fail to make peace with those who harm me. I become their friend and repay good for evil. And before I go to sleep, I forgive all who require forgiveness.” Rabbi Abba said, “You are greater than Joseph. He forgave his brothers, but you forgive strangers as well.”

(Zohar I, 200-201)

For reflection: We may not be able to make peace with all who harm us nor may we always find the courage to return good for evil. But if we could just forgive before we sleep, we, too, would live blessed lives.

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