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A Jewish friend of mine wrote this, "..because Jews seem to forgive each other more, we are to try harder with non-Jews."

I have no clue how you can try harder to forgive someone, because you either forgive them or you don't. You can't force it. I was told I had misunderstood, but I don't see how and can't get hold of her at the moment. Can anyone explain how this works practically?

Thank you so much.

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/45798/472 – Monica Cellio Jan 10 '16 at 4:18
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    Welcome to the site. Would you mind clarifying the question. I am a bit unsure what you mean by "because Jews seem to forgive each other more, we are to try harder with non-Jews." Are is the question about non-Jews forgiving non-Jews? Jews forgiving non-Jews? Or something else? Thanks. – mevaqesh Jan 10 '16 at 4:49
  • Perhaps he/she meant "to try harder" to not offend in the first please? – Loewian Jan 10 '16 at 5:03
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    Also the person being forgiven must ask for forgiveness first. – sabbahillel Jan 10 '16 at 15:24
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Shavuah tov Libby. That is Hebrew and the traditional greeting Jewish people extend after the Sabbath. It is a wish, a small prayer that you, the receiver of the greeting, should have a good week, a week that leads to an increase in life.

I'm not certain that I understand what you have said but it sounds like it is coming from the idea that the Jewish people are, in the right circumstances, supposed to be 'a light to the the nations'. That means the way Jews live their lives should be a living example for others about how they should strive to live.

Forgiveness comes from two primary places. The first is love and the second is the recognition the we all have a common source or origin. Sometimes people make mistakes. It can even appear as intentional. But forgiveness, especially in those times, comes though recognizing the connection we all have with each other.

Like you say, "you can't force it". Otherwise, there is not true forgiveness. Forgiveness must, by necessity, be genuine. But our capacity to love comes to us from our connection with the Creator who truly loves us all. And the Creator is infinite, He provides for each and every thing.

This is like what we read in Psalm 145:9, "The L-rd is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made."

  • Thank you so much for your replies. The question was indeed about Jews forgiving non-Jews. – Libby Jan 11 '16 at 6:49
  • Thank you so much for your replies. The question was indeed about Jews forgiving non-Jews. The question came about like this: I was writing an essay on rechilut (lashon hara, motzi shem ra, etc) for my Hebrew class & I found a site saying that lashon hara was only valid for Jews-as in Jews can gossip about non-Jews. I asked this friend of mine if that was true & she said some thought of like that, but they were in the minority. Then she wrote that Jews "seem to forgive each other more easily so" they "are to try harder with non-Jews". That's what I didn't get. I do now! Thank you so much. – Libby Jan 11 '16 at 6:56

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