Day 9: Accepting an Apology

Day 9: Accepting an Apology

Wednesday August 30, 2017 English Translation follows


אָסוּר לָאָדָם שֶׁיִּהְיֶה אַכְזָרִי וְלֹא יִתְפַּיַּס, אֵלָא יִהְיֶה נוֹחַ לְרַצּוֹת וְקָשֶׁה לִכְעֹס, וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּבַקֵּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ הַחוֹטֶא לִמְחֹל, מוֹחֵל בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם וּבְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה; וְאַפִלּוּ הֵצֵר לוֹ הַרְבֵּה וְחָטָא לוֹ הַרְבֵּה, לֹא יִקֹּם וְיִטֹּר.  וְזֶה הוּא דַּרְכָּם שֶׁלְּזֶרַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְלִבָּם הַנָּכוֹן.  אֲבָל הַגּוֹיִים עַרְלֵי לֵב אֵינָן כֵּן, אֵלָא “וְעֶבְרָתוֹ שְׁמָרָה נֶצַח” (עמוס א,יא); וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר עַל הַגִּבְעוֹנִים לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא מָחֲלוּ ולא נתפייסו, “וְהַגִּבְעֹנִים לֹא מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה” (שמואל ב כא,ב).

It is forbidden for a person to be cruel and not be appeased. Rather, one should be quick to forgive and slow to anger. When the sinner asks him for forgiveness, he should forgive him with a full heart and generous spirit. Even if the sinner seriously aggrieved and harmed him, he should not take vengeance nor bear a grudge.  This is the way of the seed of Israel, and their hearts are true. Other nations of uncircumcised hearts are not like this; rather they preserve their anger forever. This is what is said of the givonim, who would not forgive nor be appeased, and the givonim were not of the Jewish people.


הַחוֹטֶא לַחֲבֵרוֹ, וּמֵת חֲבֵרוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיְּבַקַּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ מְחִילָה–מֵבִיא עֲשָׂרָה בְּנֵי אָדָם וּמַעְמִידָן עַל קִבְרוֹ, וְאוֹמֵר לִפְנֵיהֶם חָטָאתִי לַה’ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלִפְלוֹנִי זֶה שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי לוֹ כָּךְ וְכָּךְ.  וְאִם הָיָה חַיָּב לוֹ מָמוֹן, יַחְזִירוֹ לְיוֹרְשָׁיו; לֹא הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ לוֹ יוֹרֵשׁ–יַנִּיחֶנּוּ בְּבֵית דִּין, וְיִתְוַדֶּה.

If a person wrongs someone who died before the sinner could ask for forgiveness, he should bring ten men to his grave and say before them, “I sinned before the Lord God of Israel and this person through this wrongful act.” If the sinner owes money to the deceased, he should pay it to his inheritors. If he does not know who they are, he should leave it with the Jewish court, and confess.

Translation from Maimonides on Teshuvah (5th edition, 2017)

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