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Though it is part of the t'shuva process, I wonder if asking mechila from people exists as a separate and distinct obligation. Must I either seek out individuals and ask for forgiveness for both things I know about and things I may not know about, or even just make a blanket and public request for forgiveness, or can I rely on others' forgiving me without my having to do anything?

If someone makes a public statement of giving a blanket forgiveness without having to be asked, has he done my work for me or even stopped me from being mekayem an independent obligation? If I am stuck in my house with no phone service so I cannot ask have a missed out on an obligation, or just an opportunity?

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    See Orach Chayim Siman 606 titled "One should appease his friend on Erev Yom Kippur"
    – Double AA
    Sep 27 '20 at 14:03
  • does the language of "צריך לפייסו" elevate the practice to an obligation? Can it be avoided by relying on a blanket forgiveness?
    – rosends
    Sep 27 '20 at 14:23
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    The question I see about blanket forgiveness is if it's really meant seriously. If you say you forgive everyone for everything and then once you are reminded about something you immediately get angry again, does that really count?
    – Double AA
    Sep 27 '20 at 14:55
  • The obligation to get forgiveness is clearly part of the obligation of repentance
    – Double AA
    Sep 27 '20 at 14:55
  • But if the obligation is to get it, nd one gets it without asking for it, has one discharged the obligation, or just gotten around it? The S"A seems to be about the willingness of the person to grant it. If that is assumed, can he grant it proactively or must I still ask for it?
    – rosends
    Sep 27 '20 at 15:01
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It would seem like you do have to ask for Mechila as a part of the Teshuva process.

The Mishna Bova Kama 92A says

...אע"פ שהוא נותן לו אין נמחל לו עד שיבקש ממנו שנאמר

Even though the assailant paid (for the damage) , his transgression is not forgiven until he asks forgiveness (from the victim), as the posuk says...

The Rambam Chovel U'Mazik 5:9 says

אֲבָל חָבַל בַּחֲבֵרוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים אֵין מִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הִקְרִיב כָּל אֵילֵי נְבָיוֹת אֵינוֹ מִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ וְלֹא נִמְחַל עֲוֹנוֹ עַד שֶׁיְּבַקֵּשׁ מִן הַנֶּחְבָּל וְיִמְחל לוֹ

when a person injures someone else physically (as opposed to only damaging his property) , paying him the five assessments does not atone. Even if the assailant sacrifices all the rams of Nevayot, he cannot receive atonement, nor is his sin forgiven until he asks the person who was injured to forgive him and receives his forgiveness

The Mechaber C'M 422:1 says

החובל בחבירו אע"פ שנתן לו ה' דברים אינו מתכפר לו עד שיבקש ממנו וימחול לו

When a person physically injures someone else even though he gives the five assessments is not atoned until he asks for forgiveness and is forgiven

They all seem to stress that you must request Mechila as a part of the Teshuva process.

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If you have done something that was genuinely wrong, or hurtful, and you could have said it better or been more helpful then yes you should apologize to them. Making blanket statements of forgiveness for things you can not recall is generally not a good thing because it comes off as insincere even if you are. Others cannot perform mitzvot for you in that way, there are cases where it applies but probably not this.

The core of your question is really this, do you have unresolved conflict within yourself? If someone else apologizes for you, will that internal conflict go away?

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  • Actually, the core of my question was about the idea of a chiyuv and whether fulfilling a chiyuv is a desirable thing.
    – rosends
    Sep 29 '20 at 0:13

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