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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

If someone apologizes to you on Yom Kippur, do you have to forgive them?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) November 11th, 2010

I heard somewhere that if you apologize on Yom Kippur (or it might have been the eve of Yom Kippur?), they have to forgive you (assuming you’re Jewish). Is this true?

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8 Answers

Dominic's avatar

I don’t see why someone who’s not a part of a religion would be bound by the rules of that religion. Otherwise, I’m telling everyone that I’m a Cosmic Unicornian, and my religion says that if I apologize to them, they have to give me twenty bucks.

As for Yom Kippur, the holiday is about apologizing to others. I don’t think as a Jew, you’re required to accept another’s apologies, but you are certainly encouraged to apologize to other folks for things you’ve done wrong.

Fyrius's avatar

Marginally useful side note:

I’m going to go one step further and say no one is bound by the rules of a religion even if they are a member of it.
Even if all the other people of your faith do it and say it’s part of the religion, make up your own mind anyway. If it’s a good rule (like “be nice to people”), follow it. If it’s a stupid rule (like “don’t work on Saturdays”), then it’s up to you.

But what you really wanted to know is whether it’s traditional to forgive anyone who apologises on Yom Kippur. I don’t know the answer to that question.

janbb's avatar

I’ve always understood it that the offender has the responsibility to apologize and make amends to anyone they’ve offended during the period between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. I’ve never heard that there is a requirement that the person who was hurt has to forgive.

Ivy's avatar

Forgiveness takes real work and real sincerity. No matter what religion and no matter the faith of the person, a rule about forgiveness doesn’t guarantee the real thing anymore than civil rights and hate crime laws have ended racism. For that matter, forgiveness is for the repentent, and saying you’re sorry does not mean you’re repentent. The president of BP said he was sorry for the oil spill. Big woo.

Joybird's avatar

I think this whole concept of atonement or forgiveness is psycho blather. In reality I look at the actions. You have someone who wants to continue to be included in some relationship, group or social interaction who is making a pledge to alter thinking and behavior and you have another person or group deciding to take a chance on that alteration in thinking and behavior for the benefits of themselves or the group. This is not really “forgiveness” which is as real as Santa. What it is IS shaping of someone else’s behavior. Some people engage in the contract and then are poor at moving along the shaping effort. They then get steam rolled and undesirable behaviors reappear in the other. And others understand that there are boundaries set, and a constant interchange for behaviors approximating the desired end result. Again forgiveness is blather…just like when the US or any other nation admits a wrong doing decades after the fact and then asks for forgiveness. It’s all bullshit. It really isn’t a repair made in action.

evil2's avatar

Probably good sense to forgive someone no matter what faith you are why carry all that negative energy around with you

Joybird's avatar

@evil2 I don’t think you have to forgive anyone in order to let go of negative emotions. I facilitate DBT (dialectical behavioral treatment). It’s a treatment modality developed from some concepts associated with Buddhism. There is no reason to remained attached to the past nor any emotion associated with it. Emotions both negative and positive are not some great evil. Emotions pejoratized as negative have benefits…they motivate..they can be powerful catalysts for change. But you can let them come up…provide their information…sweep over you like a wave and recede without doing things to reprompt them. You don’t need to cling to them or harbor thoughts that reintroduce them. AND NONE of this requires a concept of forgiveness. In fact why would you “forgive and forget”. Seems rather like follow to me. You simply store the memory in whatever way allows you to let go of the past and utilize it’s lessons and then you move on.

Pepshort's avatar

G-d treats us the way we treat others. If we’re forgiving to others, and easily overlook the transgressions and offenses people commit against us, G-d treats us the same way. Although that’s not the most lofty motive to stir us to be forgiving toward others, it’s certainly much better than harboring resentment and hatred in our hearts. To do so is to allow someone to live inside our head, rent free. We can all use the space for something better.

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