Individual Postings 1st appeared(& were copied in html form) on the Email List Mail Jewish

From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Subject: Some obscure points on Forgiveness Bob Werman raises the excellent question "What is forgiveness". I am certain much will be said. I just wanted to add one short idea which often gets overlooked: Forgiveness can be conditional and even consistent with punishment. Here are some simple examples (from Jewish law) 1) Someone is careless in my house and breaks an expensive vase. When he asks forgiveness I have a right to ask renumeration for the vase (and only then forgive him) 2) According to our traditions (See Talmud Yuma) a person who violates even a severe prohibition (like Shabbath or family purity) does have the right to repent but our traditions teach us that forgiveness may have as a prerequisite "suffering" which will "cleanse us from the sin". Indeed, for certain sins "death" itself is a prerequisite for "forgiveness". 3) Forgiveness (See Rambam Repentance Chap 1) *intrinsically* requires regret and "change of action". Here is a cute (Actual) story. A few years ago there was one person who would always insult my laining. He came over to me One Rosh Hashana and asked my forgiveness. I smiled and said "Of course....PROVIDED the insults really stop". (The person a short while later changed minyan from the one where I lain (so he could control his great urge to attach me!! ..but the insults did stop.. and he stills frquently heres me lain in other places). The point of the story is I had a right to make the "forgivenss" "conditional". 4) Here is one I don't know the answer to: Reuven had been dating Dinah. Shimon comes along and steals Dina, marries her etc. Shimon later asks Reuven "forgiveness". My own opinion is that perhaps Reuven can make his forgiveness dependent on God punishing Shimon for the anguish he caused him {Perhaps this can generate some discussion} Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu Adjunct Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Moderator Rashi-is-Simple http://www.shamash.org/Rashi/Index.htm