Monday, March 17, 2008

Forgiveness May Free Your Spirit. It May Also be Way Beside the Point

The family of the young man who was killed by a road rage murderer has forgiven the evil bastard.

And the pastor at the service for the deceased said, "We have to acknowledge that God himself does everything right."

Here's what Jews believe.

G-d is that mysterious unknowable force behind all of life.

G-d is good, yes.

G-d has given humankind free will.

And it is our G-d-given right to piss away any semblance of reasonable or loving behaviour.

How else to explain Hitler?

Thus, we Jews reach a slightly different conclusion than the good pastor.

There is nothing - repeat, nothing - right about this asshole killing a young man with his little truck.

And while the fool may indeed have a soul, which, in time, he may even encounter (preferably in the dark of a prison cell), we here on earth have no need or responsibility to forgive the blighter.

Forgiveness is a particularly Christian notion, which allows millions to feel that Christianity is a major improvement on the old Hebrew school.

But for Jews like me, being freed of the imperative for forgiveness is a blessing.

As Canadian poet Irving Layton once said in a marvelous little poem about seeing some dreadful people in a cafe, "I'm glad I'm not Jesus. I don't have to love them."


Anonymous said...

God may have created us, but we create our own destiny.

nachtwache said...

Just my 2 cents, forgiveness ultimately is beneficial to the forgiver, because hurt, anger, hate and vengefulness make us bitter, bitterness is like a cancer, eating away at a person.
Human nature is not to forgive, finding it impossible to love some people, only with God's help are we able to do this.
And it's not easy! Cory ten Boom said we just need to be willing to take the first step, then God makes the impossible happen.

PelaLusa said...


Just curious, why do you replace the "O" of "God" with a hyphen?


David Berner said...

That's a Hebrew tradition.

Even in Hebrew, the name of the Supreme Being is a kind of code.

Unknowable, the Mystery is also unprintable...