chesed and forgiveness

Written by  rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-forgiveIn his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks speaks of the God who “creates us in love and forgiveness, who loves and forgives, and asks us to love and forgive others.” Love is so often found side-by-side with forgiveness in discussions of God’s relationship with us.

The simple reason is clear: We are frail beings who make mistakes habitually. There is no loving humanity without forgiving people. The same reality applies to human-to-human relationships.


Forgiveness is the way a person can connect with the full humanity of another and defeat negativity and divisiveness with the power of surrender to the truth of the inherit dignity of all people. This may very well be the supreme act of loving-kindness. When I am forced to forgive another, or to ask for forgiveness, all of the idols of perfection, power, control, and self-aggrandizement are stripped away. What remains are two people, in the same condition, standing before the same God and each other. True love happens in moments of forgiveness.

In this week, take some time to think of all of the areas in your life where you need to forgive or be forgiven and take the necessary steps to make forgiveness happen. It may be the most loving thing you can do!

Rate this item
(1 Vote)