S’lichot, the Hebrew word for forgiveness. Biblical examples of God’s mercy in forgiving our sins are numerous. So are we urged to forgive one another.
The most powerful experience I had with the need for forgiveness came earlier this year. For the last several years, my sister, Nancy, had been angry with me for something someone told her I said about my mother. She refused to respond to phone calls, e-mails, and letters asking her to discuss it with me. Then last year, we all got together in California to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. I finally had the opportunity to talk to Nancy and assure her that I had never said or intended what she was told, and we reconciled.
In February of this year, Nancy had a massive heart attack and passed away. She had no history of heart disease, but was younger than me, and was only 57. At her funeral, my husband pointed out how grateful we should be that we were on good terms before she died, and how awful I would have felt if we had not forgiven one another. His insight shocked me, but made me realize that without forgiveness, I could not have buried her in peace.