Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Asking for Forgiveness

On the eve of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, we are to ask others for forgiveness for offenses committed in the past year. “If we cannot forgive others,” said the Hassidic Master Israel Ba’al Shem Tov, “how can we expect G-d to forgive us?”

But it occurred to me that the effort not to be offensive can lead to not saying much and not doing much. I have been guiltier of that than of doing the wrong thing. Not only this last year, but most of my life.

The down side of only saying nice things is that sooner or later no one can take what you say as having any weight. No writer wants to end their days having said the equivalent of noting.

So rather than asking for your forgiveness for what I may have said or done that caused offense, I ask for forgiveness for all I should have done, could have done, but didn’t.

The times I should have stepped in to help.

The times I should have spoken up, even if some people wouldn’t like it.

The times I could have stepped out of my comfort zone, but I hid in my safe space instead.

Please forgive me.


  1. Every Mass we say this: I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do ...

    It really does help me to be a better person.

  2. Wow. A thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I have learned there are sins we purposely do and sins we are oblivious to, like you mentioned above. Thanks for the reminder, Mirka, and you are forgiven. :) May you also forgive me. 1 John 1:9

  4. We all have moments of self appraisal and no time is more appropriate than Yom Kippur.
    I will certainly consider, not only asking forgiveness for tnings I have not done, but being more aware in the future of things I should do - and try to do them.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Mirka, thanks for this thought-provoking post. I'm sure I can benefit from it.

  6. This is really something to keep in mind. Thanks so much for posting this.

  7. Hi Mirka! I clicked over to your blog because I loved the wisdom you left in Anna (Staniszewski)'s blog comments. And lo and behold, you have wisdom here too. :)

    This is a beautiful post. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for coming, Heather. As for wisdom over here, maybe some days, after coffee…

  8. I can really identify with this. Most of my sins are sins of omission.

  9. I have plenty of both kinds of sins, but yours is a good reminder for me to be more atune to the omission ones. Thank you.