It’s not always easy to forgive others. At times it’s emotionally easier to bear a grudge than to let go of slights. Having a hardened heart means we are impervious to continued hurts. But it also means it’s difficult to let love and friendship into our lives.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a day of forgiveness. It is important to come to Yom Kippur with a clean slate. According to tradition, we are to ask each other for forgiveness and give others forgiveness before Yom Kippur. Once we are forgiven by others, we fast and pray on Yom Kippur with our communities, asking God to forgive us.
It’s important to instruct our children in the act of forgiveness, first by modeling. After imposing appropriate consequences and limits, do we forgive our children when they’ve committed wrongs? Do we ask their forgiveness once we have hurt them, or if we’ve been wrong? Modeling forgiveness can help them learn to forgive us, as well as their brothers and sisters and friends.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS about the importance of forgiveness and having a day such as Yom Kippur on which we are forgiven all our sins.
CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:
- What happens when you get mad? Do the feelings go away after awhile? Or do the angry feelings stay?
- Is it difficult to forgive people who have hurt you? What makes it so?
- Is it easier sometimes to forgive others than to forgive ourselves?
By Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses
© 2009, 2010 Joyce and Fred Claar
Torah Topics for Today is created to introduce values/ethics through a Jewish lens into family discussions. Visit our site at www.torahtopicstoday.com.