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From insult to injury, the many levels of mercy



Throughout Jewish history, there have been many examples of forgiveness. The most recognised are when Joseph, after being sold to the Ishmaelites by his brothers, revealed his true identity and forgave them, proclaiming, “I’m your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt! Don’t be distressed and angry with yourselves for selling me here.” Although Joseph didn’t explicitly use the word “forgive”, forgiveness is evident in his words.

As the year 5782 draws to a close and the year 5783 is on the horizon, the concept of forgiveness resonates strongly during the month of Elul. To my mind, there are many levels to the term “forgiveness”. Basic forgiveness requires that I forgive a minor mistake. It can involve an argument with my siblings or a misunderstanding about arrangements. Deep forgiveness involves personal hurt. This can take the form of an insult from a friend, in which after inner reflection, I come to terms with the fact that the deed is worth less than the loss of friendship, and I resolve to forgive. Ultimate forgiveness is the forgiveness of Hashem for those who have been victims of the evils and atrocities of war such as the Holocaust and yet have been able to forgive and embrace the miracle of life.

Jordi Kubelun, Grade 10, King David Linksfield

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