The Art of Forgiveness

By Rabbi Shais Taub

Last week, I spoke to an audience before Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) all about forgiving and being forgiven.

It was basically all Fourth Step stuff.

While speaking, I had an insight which I had actually not planned. I thought of another way of explaining why a tendency toward indignation is a sign of immaturity.

What is the first abstract concept that a child really gets a handle on? I mean, what is the first awareness that a child has beyond purely physical conditions like dark, light, cold, warm, wet, dry?


Think about it. "She took my toy!" "Why does he get an extra cookie?" "They got to stay up later!" "It's not fair!"

Little children do not have the emotional tools to set and protect their boundaries, and so, in order that they not be taken advantage of, G-d gives them a sense of indignation. Children are suposed to be hypervigilant. But as we grow up and we learn how to take care of ourselves, we should lose our sense of indignation along with our baby teeth. It no longer serves us. It just holds us down. A major sign of maturity is when we can experience life's pain and not assume there is someone or something at fault that begs our condemnation.

WATCH The Art of Forgiveness by Shais Taub http://www.chabad.org/1296880


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