On forgiveness

30 03 2010

I recently saw a documentary on Hasidism in America. In that documentary, a Hasidic anecdote was told that went something like this:

A rabbi once asked a lowly blacksmith how he asked for God’s forgiveness on Yom Kippur. The blacksmith told the rabbi the prayer that he prayed to God:

“I am a simple man, and I have a few sins, but You are very powerful, and You do all sorts of horrible things, like taking children away from their mothers. So I’ll forgive You if You forgive me, and with that we will call it even.”

The rabbi responded:

“Why did you let God off so easily? With that prayer, you could have redeemed all of Israel.”