Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Questions And Prayers

Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar, is also the most difficult for many of us. It is a time when we ask for forgiveness both from G-d and from man. This year, I continue to plea for G-d’s forgiveness and I do my best to come to terms with any wrongs that I have committed against others. However, I am left going in circles at time when it comes to asking for forgiveness from others. It has been a difficult year and one that has proven rather treacherous when it comes to following my heart and what I believe to be right.

There are many instances in my life, not just during the past year, when I have held fast to my beliefs, opinions, and decisions. I believe them in my heart to be the right thing to do. I have remained true to myself, my family, and, in many instances, it has been the best option for others as well. Some would see these situations, sometimes even those who find themselves on the other end, to be something I should apologize for or, more appropriately given the time of year, ask them for forgiveness.

The issue I have is for what should I ask for their forgiveness? I really have no idea. Could things have been handled differently or written in a more delicate manner? Yes, but then I wouldn’t be truthful to myself or honest in my dealings with others. Could I have chosen to not say anything? Yes and no. It would have avoided, at least momentarily, certain situations but, again, that would have been dishonest. And I wouldn’t have been doing everything in my power to protect my family.  

Should I apologize for my opinions? No. I may not like the opinions that many others have but I don’t expect them to apologize to me for sharing their views. This “offended by anything and everything that doesn’t fit into my small world view” syndrome is tiresome and I will not abide by nor cater to those afflicted by this mentality.

Can I forgive everyone? Heck no. This is the most difficult question and the one, this year, with the most emphatic response. I can forgive most people and I can come to terms with many situations in my life. However, there are moments and situations that will forever be seared in my mind. To say I can forgive every person who ever wronged me would require me to lie. I can’t do it. I am many things, some good and some bad, but I will not try to deceive G-d by saying that I am able to forgive everyone this year.

So, in the end, I guess the one I should really be asking for forgiveness from is G-d. I ask to be forgiven for the fact that there are times when I question your motives, the moment when I have been flat out angry at what you have allowed happen, and more instances than I would like to admit when I have strayed from your words. I ask to be forgiven for the harm that I may have caused others by being honest and doing my best to protect myself and my family. And I plea for forgiveness because I am unable to forgive all those who have wronged me and my family.

However, I ask for peace for both those whom I am unable to forgive and those who feel entitled to something other than the above. And I pray that we, as a family, grow closer to G-d, continue to see His hand in the beauty of the world that surrounds us, and trust His plan for us even when it doesn’t make a lick of sense in the moment. And I pray for the time, for another year of life, to grow and love and find the peace to one day forgive.