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Forgiveness never comes easy



Forgiveness never comes easy. It isn’t our first instinct, but it’s what gives us inner peace. According to the Torah, it’s forbidden to take revenge or hold a grudge. If only it were that easy, right?

In the run-up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, taking time out to acknowledge our wrongs is what will guide each of us into the new year with a clean slate, without grudges and burdens weighing us down. We have to understand that kindness along with forgiveness isn’t a one-day stop and shop on Yom Kippur. We use the time beforehand for self-betterment, healing, and, of course, repentance.

As Elul is the last month in the Jewish year, it’s viewed as a month of reflection as well as constructive change. The shofar blowing isn’t someone testing out new ringtones, but rather a special ritual each morning to awaken Jews to the fact that Yom Kippur is fast approaching.

We’re all human, and the truth is, we all make mistakes. The Book of Life is opened during Elul, and it stays open until the end of Yom Kippur. This is where the traditional greeting, “L’shanah tovah tikatevu” (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year) originates from.

Forgiving someone means realising that you didn’t get what you wanted. We learn that forgiving is more than okay, but we mustn’t forget. The valuable lessons of the past are what will prevent us from repeating wrongdoings.

Writing about forgiveness on Rosh Hashanah stems from gratitude. We’re so grateful to have people who love us unconditionally, friends who are willing to say, “I’m sorry”, and for the opportunity to say ,“I’m sorry”, ourselves.

Life is never simple. There can be much to be concerned about, but there’s so much more to be grateful for.

I strongly encourage everyone to spend some time during the Days of Awe saying, “I’m sorry.” And, “I love you.”

Jenna Zetler, Grade 11, Herzlia High School

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