Sunday, 23 September 2012

Preparing For Yom Kipper; Teshuvah

Yom Kipper is the day of reconciliation, when Hebrews strive to make amend with their fellowman and to draw closer to closer to G-d.
The days leading up to Yom Kipper is known as the Days of Repentance. During this period we are encouraged to seek out anyone they may have offended and to sincerely seek forgiveness. If the first attempted is rejected, we are to try another two times. It just may be that person we hurt really needs to know was are sorry and this isn't just some religious duty.
The hebrew word for repentance is teshuvah. It means more than "to turn around." Teshuvah means to turn around from going your way and walk back to G-d and His ways. While walking in an unholy, sinful matter, we hurt others, cause offends. When we make teshuvah, when we respond to G-d's call to return, on our way back home, we stop to make peace, mend fences and even if need, repay those we have wronged. Because the the Day of Atonement is between G-d and man alone, we make a point of making very effort to reconcile with other before attending and participating in the Yom Kipper services.
Eight years ago, I remember a rather nasty fight I had with a good friend. It seems someone told lies about me and my friend believed them.
Once my friend learnt the truth, he asked my forgiveness.
I confess it was hard. I was not only very hurt, but could not believe my friend would believe such lies about me.
On the morning of Yom Kipper, I still struggled with forgiving. But I also knew the motive of the lie; to end out relationship. My friend was just as much a victim as I.
I remember just before going to the services and saying to Mark; "I forgive you. Please forgive my anger."
That Yom Kipper eight years ago, my beat friend and I reconciled.Our relationship was not only healed and restored, but the following year we attended the Yom Kipper service as man and wife.
Ah the beauty of forgiveness.


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