Kingdom Language Coin of Forgiveness: I Hurt Someone Part One An Apology Is Not Forgiveness

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Dealing with the stuff I wrestle with deep in the night — some nights. I really appreciate the post. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the thoughtful engagement both for and against it. I did not read all the replies, but a few…. I am thinking Jesus addressed this stuff in some other ways not mentioned — at least not as far as I read. And the discussion that develops in Israel at that point becomes an on-going debate in that culture, not unlike the Roe v Wade debate in my culture.

Sure, the courts have ruled, but the culture still argues it intensely. Jesus, reading their minds not actually a supernatural thing in that instance — like watching a child in front a cookie jar or a right-wing republican at a gun show — you pretty much know what they are thinking… Anyway, he raises some tough questions that almost seem to be from out of the blue:. Is it right to save a life? The Jews had long made Sabbath exceptions for saving a life. But how about killing?

Hey, the man with a withered hand is not in need of someone getting killed so he can be healed. Where does that question come from? Well, I submit, it taps into that on-going debate that started with the Maccabees. Those Maccabean Jews had set a president when they opted to make a killing exception on Sabbath. And sure enough when the confrontation is concluded, they seek to destroy him — which culminates in his death by crucifixion.

Believe me when I say that I hate to say this, but Jesus seems to indict the Maccabees along with his present opponents. God was empowering them as a holy fighting force of unparalleled ferocity. But they did not give him his Sabbath due because as they noted, the enemy has found out soft spot and will wipe us out! It is the same argument as we find with you post. And believe me… I feel it! But Jesus pays no heed to the Maccabean concern when he faces a cross. Instead, he trusts God and finds in his own spilt blood the victory of all victories. And those of us who claim him must by virtue of that claim embrace his victory there too.

Thanks for taking on these difficult subjects. It is time His disciples abandon earthly reasoning and accept His Kingdom its paradox! This is common sense. Peter had no justification for striking the ear for a simple arrest. Those who have discernment know when to use deadly force. Christian pacifism is unbiblical and can be outright deadly.

Currently Islam is actively fighting and killing Christians in parts of the Middle East and Christian soldiers are fighting them back with machine guns and anything else they can get their hands on. Ultimately death on the cross. We should not think it strange if this is eventually our purpose too. We may admire Christian martyrs, but at what point would we be willing to be one of them ourselves?

How much better to follow Jesus faithfully in all things. There are different interpretations as there are with many scriptural passages but a few things […]. A great article and full of scripture to support the view. However, for the blind that only read words on a page and cannot decipher spiritual instruction, from these only do we find the argument for self defense and defense of others…no rock solid scripture like was given for the non resistance view………. Precious is the blood of the slain that lay under the altar and await God, not man to avenge them……..

Who is the clay to question the Potter? Human reasoning will never dictate spiritual wisdom and truth. Jesus spoke in parables, not to teach the simple of mind, to hide truth from those not seeking the entirety of it…Most supposedly called Christians today cannot explain in their own words, what the lost coin is, the mustard seed, the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins, the Prodigal Son……. How are the group appearances of Jesus to the first Christians any different from the group appearances of the angel Moroni to the first Mormons?

This is such a good post. Thank you Margie! Thanks for sharing! Thank you Micael for your post……I stand in agreement with the context of this passage Jesus was teaching that a prophecy was going to be soon fulfilled.. We cant use our human instincts, or the natural man to try to under things of God in the bible.. Not just on this subject but many others I have seen people taking one verse from the bible and making it mean something that has nothing to do with what Jesus was teaching…..

Adding to what you have already stated in your post I hope people realize that there is a spiritual war going on…It goes beyond the natural realm… It goes beyond the natural mans understanding…Its not a war fought with natural weapons, nor can it be understood with human understanding…. We can see this war going on after Jesus Death…. Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Contrary to what most people say the warfare we fight and the weapons we use are not of this world… Its a supernatural battle and can only be understood through revelation of the Holy Spirit….

Jesus left us a example to live by and we can see it after his death in the lives of His followers…. And all the others?? I think the opposition here comes from more of a self defense stand point, a lot of us were taught we have the right to defend our selves, but was this teaching from Jesus or man?

Can anyone show any scriptures in the new testament supporting this view of Christians fighting with weapons?? Where Jesus teaches that as followers we should take matters into our own hands??? May God bless you all!!!! And might I add let not this cause divisions among all of us…We all need to be humble and have a learning attitude…In love we can learn and teach…. I will say that I stand in agreement with Micael!!!

God bless you brother and ty for a great post!!!! Good post. They already had them on their person, in the room.

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Jesus knew that already. And that means they had been with them all the time, as was the custom of the time. The instruction was for a future time after Jesus would no longer be with them. The moral law is not arbitrary. Jesus would not have instructed his disciples to do anything sinful even to fulfill prophecy. His sin fulfilled prophecy and enabled Christ to die for our sins. Were it inherently sinful for the disciples to buy and carry swords, the prophecy would have been fulfilled by someone probably Judas convincing a few of the others to sinfully buy swords.

Scripture is quite clear that God never tempts us to sin. If you believe Jesus is sinless, you cannot believe that He would have ordered his disciples to sin even to fulfill prophecy. Therefore, the bearing of arms is not inherently sinful. And is it at all likely that it would be permissible to bear arms but never to actually use them? The same Christ who told us to turn the other cheek and did not raise a hand against his accusers or executioners also made a whip out of rope and drove out the moneychangers and merchants from the Temple. Are we to believe the whip stayed in his pocket while He used his words to convince the moneychangers to upend their own tables?

Do you think there was some Roman law requiring at least 2 swords before they could arrest Jesus? I have a question — What would you do if someone walked into your church and started shooting, and someone in the congregation who has a gun shoots the attacker to protect the rest? Would you criticize him for doing so? I would not. Self defense is a big discussion for Christians right now. It may be his plan is to send the police or a regular civilian like you and me.

And God said no one should kill Caine or they will be killed by others. On the other hand though, to defend oneself is not vengeful or murder. Jesus taught not to revenge and love your enemies because judgement is his. We cannot use Jesus as a complete example of this, but we can depend on what he says.

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We cannot compare to this because we are not without sin. He said if he needed help that he could call upon the angels to come. Now personally I believe that some way to defend our and other peoples flesh is needed and valid whether it be by guns or some other form. Pacifistic protests are to prove a point in a government system where there is freedom of speech.

It is meant to change the minds of many. But if someone is physically attacked, is it wrong to go to their defense? A protest would be to stop something from happening again after it has already happened once. To use force to protect someone is for the now. The only thing I can say is that try and save both sides before taking the life of the aggressor. God has destroyed those who have done great evil. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire even though there was one faithful among them yes, I know he and his family escaped.

Abram pleaded with God to save the city for the sake of those who had believed in him and lived there. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you. It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. He said sell your cloak and buy 1 sword in many translations. Some disciple came to Him and said we have 2 swords. However, I always held the opinion, for some reason, that Jesus told them to get swords for when He sent them out the second time to spread the Gospel. I know some will say we should leave it all to the police and cower in the corner or in a closet, but we have a responsibility to protect our families and loved ones, and should be willing to help strangers as well.

Can they not protect themselves when out of uniform? God forbid that anyone would do such a thing. Although God does and will protect us, he has also given us common sense. Each new translation is done by man in order to highlight certain things of the Bible. It has many meanings, but the main two are kill and murder.

God himself has destroyed cities of people for what they had done wrong Sodom and Gomorrah. Can there be an assassin of God? Evidently yes. Unlike mosses who five minutes after receiving the Ten Commandments ordered the death of men. He killed. They both did. There is a difference between killing and murdering someone. If someone is going to die by the hands of someone who is evil, and it is able to be stopped, should it not, up to killing them?

Ehud was ordered by God. Mosses was not. Exodus Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. Why would God be so specific in this verse in saying do not kill the innocent and righteous which is murder and not just say all. Also Moses talk to God face to face. How could he do something that evil while communing with God?

All men sin.


When Moses ordered those people to be killed, he asked them all if they followed the Lord. Those who did not were killed. They were suppose to be the children of God and follow his will. Thank you. I copied some of the verses here and sent them to loved ones and people I thought could use these words of Wisdom. I sure could have. Thank you this was helpful. I came here because I am a Christian 25 year old man and I would carry my pocket knife for protection and anything else you would need one for.

Just to have it as the disciples had theirs. Thanks again for the help clearing this up for me. Sometimes I need help interpreting scripture still, thanks again. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. For more on the subject of repairing hurts and disconnections, see The Dance of Connection. In theory, If I were allowed to exist, by the grace of MAN, I would be owed a number of apologies, by a number of people. Never apologize because your friends don't require one, and your enemies won't accept one anyway.

In my household forgiveness was mandatory as well, and it enabled decades of rampant abuse in every imaginable domain. I used to believe that specific words or saying specific words a certain way was the proper way to apologize. After watching this video, I now realize that words have very little significance when apologizing.

A quote from my book, "Hope in the Face of Conflict," is appropriate here. Ken Newberger Ph. This is a very helpful article. Saying only 'I'm sorry' sets my teeth on edge, as it seems to used as an avoidance technique, much as is stated in 7. I think a genuine apology is made up of 3 basic parts: 1 responsibility, 2 recognition, and 3 restitution, and this article gives valuable advice on making a genuine, sincere apology.

They take responsibility for their own actions, behavior, or words. Harriet Lerner, Ph. Are you feeling anxious because you're about to do something brave—or stupid? Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The New Science of Sleep Experts suggest ways to correct the habits that keep us from resting well. Eric, on the other hand, I not only forgave, but became his friend. It was the rejection, not the loss of him, that had bothered me, and besides, there was someone else I was involved with who was about to reject me.

Not everyone rejects me. I do my fair share of rejecting, too. And for these things, I ask forgiveness. Just as I will search inside myself for all those petty hurts that have built up over this year of dating and release them, I hope others will do the same for me. And while all this chest-beating over my past is cleansing, the most important step is the future.

Because teshuvah — real repentance — means admitting what you have done wrong, apologizing for it, and vowing never to do it again.

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Of course I have little control over how others behave toward me. Nevertheless, this Yom Kippur I vow to behave better toward them. And hope that it will be my last year of dating. Beating their breasts in repentance, they beg for absolution for the sins they have committed in their daily human interactions over the past year. On Yom Kippur, many wear canvas sneakers, the plainest of shoes, in a show of simplicity and humility.


As singles, trying on different slippers and hoping for a perfect fit, we have assayed to squeeze ourselves into many an improper shoe during the past year, blistering ourselves and others in the process, becoming callused as we try to move our lives forward. This battered state yields an impressively long list and uncomfortable memories of dating-related crimes and misdemeanors.

It is only fitting that past and current singles seize this moment to take stock of the unique ways that we have wronged each other, as men, as women, as eligibles populating the same singles pool. Just like the Al Chet — the prayer in the Yom Kippur liturgy wherein the individual confesses to a litany of collective sins — that inspired this original reading, this one is also written in third-person plural. Preliminary studies suggest that this reading is at its most potent when read responsively before or after a singles event. For maximum dramatic effect, read the first two lines in each stanza responsively, first men, then women.

The third sentence should be recited by men and women together. For the sins of men against women. And for the sins of women against men. For all of these transgressions, O God of forgiveness, pardon us, forgive us, grant us atonement. We were dishonest with you and with ourselves. We have let the ball drop. We have refused to pick up the dropped ball. We have preferred the safety of solitude to the instability of possibility. We have rejected you for being too fat or too plain.

We have rejected you for being too short or too bald. We have judged you according to external appearances and drawn assumptions from the superficial. We have detested you for being too materialistic. We have detested you for being too superficial. We have hated you in our hearts. We have blown you off on the street and in front of our friends. We have pretended not to see you in bars and at singles events. We have behaved poorly and inhumanely, in favor of maintaining our own comfort. We have demanded too much, too soon. We have pressured you into emotional commitment.

We have operated according to our own interests and agendas, unconcerned with your feelings or opinions. We have eschewed dating in favor of hot wings and professional sports. We have asked for your business cards at parties, even though we had no intention of calling. We have waited by the phone for the call you had implicitly promised. We have lived in communicational deception and delusion. We have bantered too freely, creating a perceived depth to dialogue that was meant only at face value. We have flirted without follow-up, using subtle encouragement to convey enigmatic interest.

We have left you in confusion, pondering the true intentions of our fearful hearts. We have proposed second dates we had no intention of confirming. We have accepted second dates we had no intention of attending. We have chosen a slow fadeout over honesty, denying you the dignity of a truthful closure. For the sins of dating on the Internet.

And for the sins of dating in real life. Kustanowitz is the regular singles columnist for the New York Jewish Week, where this article first appeared. You can reach her at jdatersanonymous gmail. Just when the film world seems to have examined the Holocaust from every possible angle, a new film comes along that shakes up our complacency. Most notably, it deals with the forgiveness of Nazis, a concept antithetical to many Holocaust survivors.

The film is set primarily in the present in Terre Haute, Ind. A zaftig woman with a cherubic face, Kor wears cheerful, bright blue and red outfits with matching scarves, including one in the pattern of the American flag. We see her working out on a treadmill and lifting weights, driving her car around town with prospective home buyers, cooking grilled-cheese sandwiches with an iron to demonstrate how she used to make them at a time when the family was very poor.

The film also flashes back to scenes at concentration camps, including archival footage of the Soviets liberating Auschwitz. Remarkably, Kor and her twin sister Miriam were captured in that film: two girls dressed in striped prison-like attire and holding hands at the front of the line. But the controversy actually comes down to a question of semantics, since Kor has not really forgiven the Nazis so much as she empowered herself by exorcizing that evil from her past.

The real controversy of the film lies in the fact that it draws a moral equivalence to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, suggesting that lessons learned from Kor should be applied there, as well, a subject that seems to have no place in a film about the Holocaust. Figueroa, from Nov. The American Library Association got more than requests to ban books last year. But most of those requests were unsuccessful, because of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other people who make sure books stay on shelves.

Use this week to support your right to read. Here are some banned books to consider reading this week:. This is a way for you as kids to sound off about an issue. Discuss your opinions in your classroom or around your dining table with your family. We want to know what you think. In these days of asking tough questions, taking stock, revisiting memories and trying to do better in , books are essential tools. The Rev. He also mentioned his concern over the danger to Israel posed by two terrorist groups — Hamas and Hezbollah — as well as by Iran and international anti-Semitism.

In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said he believed that Robertson had taken to heart the outrage over his comments. Ayalon added that he expected that Robertson will again be allowed to participate in the evangelical project. Plans for the site include an auditorium, a broadcast center and a chapel, as well as paths to connect holy sites, according to the Associated Press.

Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee. This year, I will observe Yom Kippur — the holiest day of the Jewish year — with refugees from Darfur in camps in Chad. These survivors have sought sanctuary hundreds of miles from home, in a harsh and barren landscape. For them, the question of Yom Kippur is not posed within a context of comfort, but is a reality in which death permeates every minute of every day.

As a rabbi, I choose to spend my day of fasting with others whose fasting is not by choice but of necessity. Yom Kippur is a day devoted to self-assessment, forgiveness and change. We distance ourselves from the concerns of daily life to take personal stock, seek renewal and determine what matters most. We reflect on the shortcomings and failings of the past year, and resolve to change in the year ahead.

On Yom Kippur, Jews confront mortality. I observed Yom Kippur in a Chad refugee camp last year. I will return to the sacred, scorched earth inside the camps and to the dignified and downtrodden people from the Fur, Masalit and Zangawah tribes. These refugees are victims of intolerance and cruelty. They yearn for food, water, health care and security. They search for hope, love and support in the eyes of others. At their core, they are no different than you and I.

But the situation differs enormously. In the United States, victims of circumstance like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are assured support and a voice. Yet little has changed in Chad — one year later, refugees still need basic necessities, medical care and a global voice. There is great danger in forgetting them. Twenty-million people are currently displaced by violence, famine and collapsed states throughout the world. How can we atone for that?

In Chad, I will bear witness to the people who have lost their homes, their loved ones and their way of life. I will be with people — most of them Muslim — who are suffering and living through the unspeakable horror of what people can do to each other. Amidst these indescribable conditions, I find extraordinary dignity among a welcoming and gracious people.

I will sit with them. I will show that the world cares about their plight — that we will do everything possible to bring them food, water and medicine. I will bring hope, joy and laughter to the somber refugee camps. Playing with the children will not bring peace, but it may provide a smile and a glimpse of joy, a reprieve from their degraded reality. They will know that the West does care, that we have not forgotten them and that they, too, are citizens of the world. The world stood by while 6 million Jews and 5 million others died during the Holocaust.

I go to Chad believing that my actions make a concrete difference. My trip will bring both financial and emotional support to the camps. Bearing witness and bringing hope are critical, but contributing to a solution is paramount. The money will provide the refugees with medicine, food and education.

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I could not go without the funds or without the conviction that my contributions are assisting with a solution. But these contributions are mere steps. Much more is required to restore refugee lives: political stability, self-sustaining economies and international financial support are necessary to affect real change. I am outraged about the plight of so many and pained by the iniquities still found in our world. In these camps, I am reminded of how fortunate we are in the West.

I am reminded of the blessings of my life. There is no better place for me to spend Yom Kippur, than among the dispossessed and the forgotten. As I sit in the sub-Saharan desert with people created in the image of God, I will be mindful of the value in each and every life. Unless we enrich the lives of others, we diminish the meaning of our own.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

My resolve will be deepened. So, I choose to be with the refugees on Yom Kippur. I hope to give them a small part of what they give me — a reminder of the fragility of life; the kindness that can exist even in the worst circumstances, and the ability of human beings to retain hope. It is there that my prayers for atonement and renewal may be answered. I will see the beauty and splendor of human life, and the potential we have to make life better.

We all bear the burden of accountability: Who shall live and who shall die? May we all have a chance to fully live our lives.

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One of the most important questions we need to ask ourselves, particularly as we approach Yom Kippur, is: How will we be remembered? An incident in the life of Alfred Nobel illustrates how he was unexpectedly forced to face that important question. The eulogy indicated the following: Alfred Nobel, the creator of dynamite, one of the most destructive forces known to humanity, died yesterday a wealthy man.

Upon reading his own obituary and seeing how he was to be remembered, he decided to make a change in his life. He took some of the profits from his creation of dynamite and used it for an altruistic purpose. The important question we should each ask ourselves during the High Holidays is: How will I be remembered if, God forbid, my life ended today?

If you are not happy with the answer, take the gift of transformation that Yom Kippur offers. Modify the way you speak, the use of your spare time, your charitable habits or the way you vent anger. If you are not treating those in your household or those with whom you work with dignity, pledge to change that. We all make the mistake.

Our priorities become confused and we often let the immediate desires drive away the important ones. Yom Kippur is our spiritual wake-up call. It reminds us that not only our lives, but the lives of those dearest to us will some day end. We should also seek forgiveness … a difficult task for most of us. Many see apologizing as a sign of weakness. We cannot quite bring ourselves to admit fault to a co-worker, a friend, a parent, a spouse or our children.

Yet, apologizing is a courageous act. Which takes greater strength of character, ignoring a wrong or confronting it? Ask yourself, if someone came to ask your forgiveness, would you not gain respect for such a person? When a bone is broken in our body one would think that the point of fracture would, after healing, be the weakest part of that bone. Yet the place where the bone healed, in fact, becomes its strongest part.

The Torah recounts the lives of twin brothers, Jacob and Esau, who have a terrible argument and become alienated from one another. But the Torah does not say why they cry. This moment was a reflection of the many years that had passed. They recognized the wasted years, born of the anger, which consumed them, and they cried for the loss of time. We can, of course, change our lives and ask forgiveness any day of the year.

If, however, you are reading this in the hours before Yom Kippur, think of this sacred day as an opportunity to look into your soul and affirm that life is beautiful, inherently optimistic, yet sometimes fragile. And though our lives seem to pass swiftly, it does not preclude each of us to be forgiven and to forgive while we are here. What an empty feeling to realize too late that there were words that needed to be said that were never spoken.

If you have someone in your life with whom you are estranged — and would like to reconcile — take the step. Then, when the shofar sounds at the end of Yom Kippur, you will leave your synagogue with a full heart, with a soul that has been refreshed and with a renewed vigor to begin the New Year, grateful to God for one of the greatest of all gifts … the gift of life. David Woznica is rabbi of Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles. He can be reached at dwoznica sswt. The concept of repentance is hard enough for grown-ups to get, so how do educators make the central themes of the High Holidays real for children?

While projects like tempera-painted honey dishes and party-whistle shofars are de rigueur, preschool and elementary school teachers take seriously the idea of having the High Holiday message of personal accountability set the tone for the whole year. The king is in his palace the entire year, and once a year he comes out of his palace to meet with all the different people, to get to know them and see how they are doing.

The school practices conflict resolution, where a teacher stops the offending action and has each child articulate feelings and establishes empathy. Then, together the children and teacher come up with a resolution. At Stephen S. Wise elementary school, director of education Metuka Benjamin encourages teachers to use project-based activities around the High Holidays to emphasize Jewish peoplehood. We want them to understand that there are Jews all over the world, yet there is a connected spirit that ties us together.

At this early age, understanding community is critical to helping them acquire a sense of pride about their backgrounds, while also feeling tied to Jewish friends and family here and around the world. Rivka Ben-Daniel, director of Hebrew and Judaic studies at Heschel West in Agoura, has the whole school — and parents — blowing shofar every morning leading up to the High Holidays. She concentrates on the idea of cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of the soul.

Ben-Daniel goes through a similar exercise with teachers, asking them to account for their wrongdoings with students, teachers and parents. Yom Kippur reminds me of the time I spent in couples counseling with a serious boyfriend. For my boyfriend, going to couples therapy became his version of Yom Kippur. He thinks I feel too guilty.

Each week I sit across from him, whip out my journal and enumerate my so-called sins. While worshippers from Brentwood to Jerusalem literally beat themselves with their fists each September in shul, I metaphorically beat myself up each Thursday in a Santa Monica office suite. I feel guilty for avoiding a coworker going through a breakup because whenever I say, "How are you?

As a child, I remember dutifully writing out my "sins list" each Yom Kippur, the way my Christian friends wrote out their "Santa lists" three months later. My list was always longer.

How to Forgive

Lying to your parents about what time you went to bed at a sleepover. Wishing that your clueless teacher would go the hospital for a few weeks so that you could have a cool substitute instead. While making that list, I became a conflicted combination of self-righteousness and self-flagellation.

Meantime, I felt guilty for questioning my guilt. Yet not once did I atone by fasting — in my mind, putting on an itchy dress, sitting through mind-numbingly boring services and wondering how I came to be such a bad person were punishment enough. But guilt is in my bloodlines. Eventually, I lost interest in Yom Kippur, but I never lost that sense of guilt. Or take the guy who broke up with my friend but asked to continue sleeping with her — and feels no compunction.

Just look at Ken Lay, or the shameless contestants on the reality show "Wife Swap. I wish I could say that my neurotic fixation with guilt has kept me from typing e-mails to my friends while distractedly mumbling "Uh-huh" on the phone with my mother, or from nearly having an affair while in a committed relationship. We mere mortals do. Which is why I have such a problem with Yom Kippur. The other day I was explaining this to my friend Lynn in New York.

His insight was so simple that it blew my mind: reorient. Besides, if I start to feel guilty about not feeling guilty, I can always repent next Yom Kippur. Her Web site is www. I snap the yearbook shut. I snap it shut with enough force to make a whooshing sound. I later found out who stole my yearbook and, with his crappy-hearted little buddies, jabbed a ballpoint pen into my paper-thin self-esteem. That was many Yom Kippurs ago. And what do you know? Or at least to think about what sorry is, to whom we owe an apology, to whom we owe forgiveness and, frankly, what good is any of this repentance anyway?

We all have our ways of expressing remorse, but what are we buying with our flowers, phone calls and fine jewelry? You know what I mean — down there. The 12th-century theologian also specified that the only person who can grant forgiveness is the person who was wronged. There was no getting around it, no asking to speak to the supervisor and going right to God. According to Jewish law, I had to repent, had to mean it, had to swing at forgiveness at least three times before giving up.

Years had passed since the day I broke up with that guy, the day I said the bad thing. I talked to him on occasion, his birthday or mine. Both traditions suggest that the only real redemption comes from being faced with the same situation again and doing it right the next time. Said Rabbi Judah: If the opportunity to commit the same sin presents itself on two occasions, and he does not yield to it. Well, the universe has been kind enough to provide me many an ugly breakup and I knew better than to go back to my original sin.

After some chitchat, I slowly lowered my sorry. He knew exactly what I meant. There was a pause. Thank you. As guys do when faced with intense emotional situations — and when living with their new girlfriends who are probably in the next room — he hustled off the phone right quick. And the deed was done. Or undone. And something unexpected happened. I guess anything that can keep an addict clean and a people together for thousands of years must have some magic in it.

My guy accepted the apology with grace. But what about the yearbook guy? Could I forgive someone who never repented? So much easier said than done. Phil practically has it tattooed on his tush. It can help take the chip off our shoulder and that is always a good thing. Chips off the shoulder, rocks out of the pockets, I think I get it. Let go and the heavy stuff lightens up. Life gets better.