Project Forgiveness 2009

Welcome to Project Forgiveness. Here, we collect and post videos, emails, postcards and other expressions of regret from those who seek to forgive and from those who wish to express regret.

In the days leading up to the Jewish New Year, we offer this forum as a first step. It is our hope that sharing thoughts of forgiveness online will translate into actual forgiveness between individuals in the days to come.

How to participate? It's simple. Send us your "sorry" (upload a video to youtube and send us the link) or email us at: forgiveness or mail to:

Project Forgiveness
P.O. Box 5134
Bergenfield, NJ 07621

We accept postcards, emails, powerpoint, art, music, video and more!

August 8, 2006

Is it possible to forgive someone if you are still angry? What does forgiveness mean?

- Anonymous from New Jersey


Rabbi Buchwald said...

There is a well-known verse in the book of Job (26:7) that states that the world is suspended on nothingness. The Hebrew word for nothingness is “blimah.” Utilizing a bit of poetic license, the rabbis state that the origin of that word really comes from the Hebrew word “bolaim,” which means to “swallow.” The rabbis explain that the world is really sustained in the merit of those people who are prepared to “swallow” their pride and disregard insult and hurt.

Another similar self-effacing statement is found in a popular meditation contained in the Hebrew prayer book: “ To all let my soul be lowly as the dust.” The rabbis recommend that people not take themselves too seriously, and not take a person who hurts or insults them too seriously either. Clearly, if a total stranger would come up to someone in the street and say, “You’re an idiot,” the victim is not likely to take that type of insult seriously because the stranger has no idea who he insulted. Furthermore the aggressor may be demented, or may be angry at someone else and is letting off steam at a totally innocent victim.

Putting these two rabbinic recommendations together, being prepared to swallow one’s pride and not taking oneself or the aggressor too seriously, makes it far more likely that you will forgive someone even if you are still angry, because the anger will soon dissipate and the hurt soon disappear.

- Rabbi Buchwald, Founder and Director of the National Jewish Outreach Program

Dr. David J. Lieberman said...

Dr. David J. Lieberman said....

If a person has asked for forgiveness, yet continues to do the same behavior, you need to find out how intently he is or she is working on changing it. In this, it case it sounds like this person is resigning himself to never changing; in which case, his apology does not seem truly real. If he was sincere, then we might assume that he would make an effort to stop hurting you. Nobody deserves to be abused. Take this "aplology" for what it is--an opportunity to hurt you again.