‘I’m sorry’ S. said. I believe it. But can I, truly, say “I forgive you?” the most I could – can – say is ” I understand’. I can’t even say it’s OK. It’s not. Not yet.


But today is the day of forgiveness – an extra effort at cleaning up the psychic debris, tying up loose ends.


I want to forgive the hurt. I want to let it go.To open up the options of release, let go of resentment and pain that gets trapped inside when we don’t have the words to express raw emotions and hard truths.
If not fully from the heart – at least in words, in some formulas of release that will help me find more focus, balance, peace.



“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” said Reinhold Niebuhr. 


I want to forgive myself for all the stupid stuff and waste of time and worse. forgive myself for not being more careful, more patient, more kind.
I want to forgive those at whom I’m mad, and hurt by, and haven’t for what ever reason confronted yet.
I want to ask forgiveness from those whom I’ve hurt this past year, in any form, whether I know it or not.


I want to enter the year with these intentions, even if they are far from being completed. I want to pray for the ability to have more room for forgiveness in my life, and more of it on the planet, in each heart.


In orthodox circles there is a ritual that happens around mid-day today – rosh hashana eve: its the preview of Kol Nidrei – a private, at home, ‘annulment of vows’ ceremony. In small groups of three, people gather (it’s not co-ed, but women do this too) and recite the ‘release from vows’ formula, serving as each other’s witnesses.  The release from vows is one way to ritualize forgiveness, letting go. There are others. Find yours.


See  link to the full text of ANNULMENT OF VOWS here:


Enter in peace. Shana Tova. 


Rabbi Amichai & Lab/Shul’s annual Elul journey into the new Jewish year with 40 daily communally co-created inspirations to help us begin the year with more focus and presence.

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