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The High Holidays and the Power of Forgiveness

In just a few days, Jewish people all over the world will hear the call of the shofar and celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are among the most important days of the year.

Most everyone knows that on Yom Kippur, we ask G-d’s forgiveness for ways in which we have transgressed during the past year. However, the act of teshuvah means that we also seek forgiveness among friends and loved ones. If we have hurt them in anyway, we want them to know that we’re sorry. This is always a healthy subject for Jewish singles who yearn for meaningful relationships, because forgiveness is a key element for any successful relationship.

In Hebrew, the word teshuvah does not mean “I’m sorry.” It literally means to return. It’s about restoring balance, both with G-d and with those who are important to us. Couples must always deal with balance in their relationship, no matter how long they’ve been together. Most arguments happen because that balance is thrown off in some way. How do you repair it? By being open and honest with each other—and by asking forgiveness if you know you did something wrong.

Still, for so many people, it’s incredibly difficult to say “I’m sorry,” especially to someone they love. If you are one of those people, take heart. Admitting mistakes is a strength, not a weakness. Some of us are old enough to remember the movie Love Story, with that classic line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Don’t believe that! Love means that you do have to say you’re sorry. It shows that you’re aware of your weaknesses, and that you respect your partner’s feelings.

Of course, there are things that are very tough to forgive. Ask anyone who’s been through a nasty divorce, or someone whose grief is profound due to the loss a loved one. But during the High Holidays, we are asked to forgive as much as we can. When we do this, we often find forgiveness to be liberating, as if an enormous weight has been lifted from us. On Yom Kippur, when we ask G-d to inscribe us in the Book of Life for the next year, we do so from a perspective of deep awareness. We have come to terms with how we have transgressed, and we have ideas of how we can be even better to ourselves and to those around us in the year ahead.

We at Elegant Introductions wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year. May you be inscribed for a year of joy, love, and exciting new relationships.


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