Sunday, December 2, 2007

Question on forgiveness

Question/comment: Dear Rabbi this is a question on forgiveness. first a little bit about myself, I have not formerly converted to Judaism but I firmly believe in the unity of God and the thirteen principles enumerated by Rambam. I love Judaism, its principles, its beliefs,and HaShem.

this is my question.

my family comes from a Christian background, My father owned a business and thieves went in to steal and they shot him to death. many Christians have always stressed that me and my family have to forgive. Its not an option its a must.

I read in a Jewish ethics book that family members do not have to forgive when their relatives are murdered because their relatives are not their 'posession' as it were, that is I am in no place to forgive them since the atrocity was comitted against my father not me.

However , I heard in one of your sermons on teshuvah that if the person goes three times to ask for forgivness and is rejected, trangession is alloted to the people who refuse to forgive.

Can you please tell me if I am obliged to forgive in this case?

Why would you forgive them? Did they beg you for forgiveness? They hurt you by killing your father and owe you huge remorse. Until then, they can rot in hell. If they have been caught, tried, served their punishment, and asked for forgiveness, that it is adifferent matter and you can decide if it is ok.

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