This evening, the 24-hour fast day of Yom Kippur came to an end. For those who observe, this was our last chance to seek forgiveness for all wrongs we committed this year, and to ask for a chance to do it right this year.
In my profession, you usually get just once chance to make your argument or prove your case. It's usually done "on the record," so there's always proof that you made it. Only problem is, if you DON'T make that argument or offer of proof that you needed, and the record is CLOSED, YOU LOSE.
That means you can't bring it up for the first time on appeal -- can't sneak anything past judges at that level, for sure!
Well, I thought I covered everything as I was in temple last night and today, and made most of my peace with G-D. However, during the course of the day, I did get a little curt and short with someone that I should not have. I'm feeling a bit low about that, but the holiday is over.
That being said, the liturgy of this day says that the only atonement granted is for sins between you and G-D, which He is most likely to forgive. Sins committed between you and other people? You're on your own.
So, without bringing up any names or places, I would like to let this individual, who is a Facebook friend, know that I was wrong and I'm sorry. I have no idea whether this person is in a forgiving mood, but I'm being sincere.
Of course, per my September 16, 2012 re-post, the ball would be in that person's court now. If he/she is too good and full of themselves to accept my apology, my obligation ends. By the way, this is why some people will tell you that NOT apologizing gets more respect than apologizing. Far too many people see contrition as an act of weakness and groveling, and it emboldens them to rub it in the penitent one's face.
Accordingly, if my sincere entreaty is not accepted, then as far as I'm concerned, it's withdrawn, and my transgression is absolved. It takes guts to admit that you made a mistake and you want forgiveness, but it takes little more than human decency to grant that forgiveness -- we're all human, after all.
Too big to forgive? Take a gander at the book of Jonah, the lamest prophet in the Bible. Went out of his way disobey G-D's own directive because he didn't want to see a whole nation of sinners forgiven. Much to his chagrin, they did request atonement most sincerely, and it was granted over his objection, and G-D took the opportunity to rub it in Jonah's face so he'd finally learn! Even after living in a whale's (or fish's) stomach for three days, the smell of the brine and seaweed did not alert him to the fact that forgiveness is available to all those who ask for it, and that nobody is so big to judge others not to forgive (except the Nazis, they'll never deserve it).
So now that the record is closed, and all is said and done -- I am sorry, but if I'm not forgiven, there's no real need to be.