Tag Archives: forget

Letters to God – Part 33: Forgive and Forget, take 2


Hi God. I had a thought today. About forgiving and forgetting. Something we talked about before. I was thinking about how these two words are very similar, but deep down they are very, very, different.

[Son] Hi Dad! You are here! I’m so glad to see you
[Me] Hi kiddo. I’m also happy to see you!

OK, so back to the subject – forgiving is an active action, something you have to do, something that doesn’t happen alone. Forgetting is exactly the opposite. You can’t decide to forget something – doing that will do the exact opposite, imprinting it more in your memory. Forgetting is a passive action, something that happens, completely not under our control.

[Son] Hi Dad! I’m so happy that you are home!
[Me] Yes my boy. I’m also happy to be here, and to see you, and hug you. Love you!

Where were we? Ah yes. How forgiving is so simple. Well… relatively. Now forgetting? That is fricking hard. Really, REALLY hard. Memories come back from the middle of nowhere, events that happened ages ago suddenly pop into your head, no control, nothing you can do. No decision you make will take them out. They are just there. Lurking. Waiting. Prowling. Always ready to show up at the worse possible moment.

[Son] Daddy! So good to see you! High five!
[Me] High five, my hero!

So yes, for most of us, forgetting is hard. But for my son, it’s very easy. It just happens. And it breaks me every day.

Want to make a deal? I’ll forgive you. I’ll forgive you for everything.

And I’ll do that, the day he stops forgetting.

We’ll talk about everything else next time…

Letters to God – Part 26: Yom Kippur Again

Hi God. First of all, a lot of thanks for a relatively uneventful year on the negative side, and a year full of growth in the positive side. Time flies, we are enjoying it as best as we can while at the same time expecting the worse to come tomorrow.

Which brings me to my current issue, Yom Kippur. And atonement. And forgiveness.

We learn that if we pray, fast (which doesn’t bother me so much this year), give charity, etc., you will forgive us for the wrong things we did last year (I even heard that there are scholars who say that regardless of what we do, you’ll forgive us, like an annual reset… Interesting). Yet for thing we did wrong to others you are not the address. We need to ask forgiveness from our fellow humans in order to get heavenly forgiveness. And if someone ask for forgiveness, really meaning it, you must forgive him, otherwise the fault is on you.

And here is my problem. I can’t forgive you God. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t. For the pain my son has suffered, for the psychological weight carried by his sisters, for everything my family has endured. I just can’t. Last year I thought I could. But I was wrong.

And that is just my inner circle. There are so many wrongs happening in the world all the time, so many things that are just… wrong.

So I guess the fault’s on me. So there will be no atonement for me this year.

As we say in Hebrew: Basa…

But hey, since all is already lost, this year I’ll enjoy the day and have an awesome Yom Kippur party!


Just kidding 🙂

Letters to God – Part 18: Forgive and Forget

source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/132363676520237623/

Next Sunday night, Jews all over the world will begin a new year. As usual, we will get together to eat ’till we drop, and in between meals we’ll go to the synagogue and pray. But our new year is not a year of festivals – it is actually the opposite. It’s a day of remembrance. It is our yearly opportunity to ask forgiveness for all the “bad” things we have done the past year, and ask that the year that comes be blessed with all of the best. And since we tend to be pretty bad, we have a whole 10 days to repent until the Day of Atonement where our future is signed and sealed for the next year.

Yes, God, you’re going to be very busy the next 2 weeks. With so many people calling to you, both those that talk to you every day, and those that come only once or twice a year. And we all have some much to say, so much to ask for, so much we want to forgive, so much we want to forget.

Forgiveness is a complex task. To forgive you have to forget. And there are things that you simply can’t forget. Things that no matter how much you try, are embedded in your memory and won’t let go. And they come back and remind you of the past. And you can’t forgive. No matter how much you try.

Forgiveness is also bi-directional. Most conflicts are not driven by only one of the parties involved – both of them are responsible, and because of this, both of them need to ask for forgiveness. And to forget.

And God I want to forget many seconds, minutes, hours of the last year! While my friends talk about the miracles that have happened, I think to myself (and also tell them) that I would prefer not see all these miracles, not to need them. Not that I don’t thank you for them, but still… Life has changed. Not for the good, not for the bad. I simply has changed.

There are so many moments that I want to forget and I can’t. So you can see why it is so difficult for me to forgive you. For all the pain my son has suffered. For the trauma of his three sisters, after waking up one morning to find their parents gone with their brother to the hospital, returning only a few day later, only to see their brother again a month later, unable to walk or talk. For how my wife and I can’t live a minute, a second, without thinking about that night, and how it can all return back any moment. Yes, it’s hard.

Yes God, it’s hard. But I forgive you. Because I want to forget.