Forgiveness on Yom Kippur and in Marriage



It’s not always easy to forgive others. At times, it’s emotionally easier to bear a grudge than to let go of slights. Valuesandethics.Org is a great resource for me as I navigate conversations with brides and grooms. As a Jewish wedding cantor who officiates Jewish weddings, when I meet brides and grooms before their wedding we speak about fair fighting in a marriage and not saying anything that will leave a permanent scar. Arguments will happen and things may / will be said that are hurtful but apology is so important in a marriage and on Yom Kippur.


Having a hardened heart means we are impervious to continued hurts. But it also means it’s difficult to let love and friendship into our lives.


Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a day of forgiveness. It is important to come to Yom Kippur with a clean slate. According to tradition, we are to ask each other for forgiveness and give others forgiveness before Yom Kippur. Once we are forgiven by others, we fast and pray on Yom Kippur with our communities, asking God to forgive us.


I share with my wedding couples that when they have kids, It’s important to instruct our children in the act of forgiveness, first by modeling. After imposing appropriate consequences and limits, do we forgive our children when they’ve committed wrongs? Do we ask their forgiveness once we have hurt them, or if we’ve been wrong? Modeling forgiveness can help them learn to forgive us, as well as their brothers and sisters and friends.


Talk to your kids about the importance of forgiveness and having a day such as Yom Kippur on which we are forgiven all our sins.


CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:


What happens when you get mad? Do the feelings go away after awhile? Or do the angry feelings stay?


Is it difficult to forgive people who have hurt you?


What makes it so? Is it easier sometimes to forgive others than to forgive ourselves?


Saying I’m sorry to your partner and to your kids is so powerful and healing. It’s amazing how some people have such difficulty saying the words “I’m sorry” yet they do.


Not only will you feel so much better saying these words and apologizing for something that you have said or done, you will be helping to heal the person or people in your life that you love the most.

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