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What is the Reason: Praying With Forgiveness Print E-mail

Ask the RabbiI once heard you say that Rav Yisrael Salanter taught that one must pray with forgiveness. Can you please explain what he meant? A.P.

 

Rav Yisrael Salanter described a person waking up early in the days between Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur to recite Selichot. He insisted that the maid also wake up early to prepare a cup of tea for him. He rushed to the synagogue actually pushing someone out of his way. He arrived just a few minutes late and began to complain that no one waited for him. As far as he was concerned, he was righteously reciting all the extra prayers. As far as God was concerned, his prayers were not only worthless, they were destructive. Had he forgiven the maid and allowed her to sleep, had he been forgiving of the person in his way, had he forgiven the congregation for not waiting for him; had he prayed having forgiven everyone around him, his prayers would have pierced the highest heavens and accomplished far more than just the words. We have to learn how to pray with forgiveness; forgiving everyone who may irritate, annoy, or even hurt us. When we do, our prayers but come powerful forces of forgiveness.

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