What a crock of Bullshit…
You hear the phrase “Chatimah Tovah And Please Forgive Me for Anything I May Have Done To You… ” a lot this time of year. Before Yom Kippur, people use this phrase in order to seek forgiveness from their friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, it’s meaningless. In order to get forgiveness, you need to acknowledge your sin, ask for forgiveness and make proper restitution if necessary. You need face the person you sinned against and specify the sin. It’s not fun. It’s not meant to feel good. It hurts and makes you feel like shit – but at least when it’s over, you have done the right thing and it will hopefully result in your being a better person.
I was reminded of this as I read Marty Beckerman’s latest piece in Jewcy – My Failed Quest for Forgiveness – A Yom Kippur post-mortem, where Marty admits to his sins and actually asks for forgiveness from the aggrieved parties to mixed success, but with a refreshing modern twist:
If the person refuses to forgive usâ€”which is virtually guaranteed if we apologize on an anonymous blogâ€”we have to ask again on two separate occasions so that God will give us credit for trying.Maimonides says it’s best to repent in front of witnesses, but in true Generation Y fashion, I sent the majority of my apologies via Facebook’s messaging system. Here are the results of my experiment in groveling for absolution.
Go on. Read the story – and watch as Marty Beckerman no less, teaches even orthodox Jews something new.
Oh and if I committed a sin against you – too bad. I’ll take my chances with Gehena because it’s around the corner from where I live. A 10 minute walk and a 5 minute bike ride – that’s a friggin cakewalk! but do have an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur.