“As I walked down the street, a huge blow fell on my shoulders. The pain was terrible. I swung around in fury. “Who hit me?” I shouted.
What I saw then shut me up. It was my own loving father…”1
There are two parts to forgiving others. The first is more important — this is to forgive within our hearts. In order to move forward in life — to be happy, to succeed — we must remove — we must cut out, our anger, resentment. We dare not allow this tumor to swell. It might just kill us.
It’s hard to overlook the pain others inflict on us. We suffered, and the suffering leaves a scar. Still, we have to forgive; we have to forget.
This is the Torah’s command.2
We must remember — we must repeat to ourselves — that all our suffering starts with the Creator. The Creator may afflict us — to show us, teach us, that we acted incorrectly, that we need to make repairs. Or, He may want us to pass a certain test — that we may grow as we need to grow — that we may develop as we need to develop. Still, no matter the reason, only the Creator hits us. When a man beats his dog, he uses a stick. After the man has gone, the dog may attack the stick — bite the stick. But the stick didn’t hurt him!
We must remember — we must repeat to ourselves — that any suffering we suffer starts with the Creator. Then it becomes easy to forgive the one who was but a stick. It’s easy then even to forget which stick it was. After all, it’s only a stick.
1 The Klausenberger Rebbi, a Holocaust survivor — to explain how he was able to regain his calmness, just minutes after hearing the agonizing news that he had lost his son.
2 VaYikra 19.18
By Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Schwartz
Excerpted from “Be Happy and Succeed“. To buy this book as an ebook for $4.95 click here.
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