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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Forgiving Wrongs on Yom Kippur

There’s a story in the Kol Dodi by R’ Sholom Schwadron, told to him by R’ Gifter.

R’ Moshe was on a beis din, and the money at issue was being held by a sholish, a third party holding the money in escrow. The case was decided, and the winning party called the sholish to pick up the money. The sholish told him he could not give it to him. R’ Moshe called the sholish and asked why he wasn’t following the psak; the sholish said his hands were tied; he couldn’t follow the decision of the Beis Din because a yungermahn had called him, and told him that the psak was invalid. R’ Moshe asked the sholish to ask the person who claimed the psak was invalid to call him. When the Yungermahn called, R’ Moshe asked him why he had told the sholish to not release the money. He, courageously (Definition: bold and stupid), told R' Moshe that the din torah was invalid. R’ Moshe calmly asked him why, to which he responded because it was held at night, and a Beis Din cannot meet at night. R’ Moshe tried to explain why that was not a problem, but the yungermahn said that he doesn’t know pshetlach, he just knows that “you were oiver on a b’feirisheh mishneh.”

I don’t know what happened with the din Torah, R' Gifter continued, but a few months later the person who foolishly challenged R' Moshe's psak went to R’ Moshe for a ksav kabboloh which would enable him to become a professional shocheit, and R’ Moshe gave it to him. R’ Rudderman knew the whole story about the din Torah and the ksav kabbolah, and he called R’ Moshe and asked, how could you give him kabbolah after what he did? “I don’t understand how kvod toroso could do that! R’ Moshe answered with great surprise, I don’t understand kvod toroso! What is the shaileh? Yom Kippur has passed, and I was mochel him, so how could I remember what he had done?

Whatever kashes we have about the need to establish the validity of the psak of a bais din, and the importance of teaching a person about the consequences of being mevazeh a godol hador, there’s a lesson here about mechila. It’s not just words, it means that you bear no grudge. People have said that forgiveness encourages repetition of the offense, but R’ Moshe held that mechila is one of the mitzvos hayom of Yom Kippur, and it really means what it says. You have to forgive without reservation, to the extent that you feel no different toward him now than you did before he wronged you.

1 comment:

yehuda said...

The story is brought in Mechitas Rabeynu as having taken place with Rav Y Kaminetsky.It adds that R' Yaakov felt R'Moshe still shouldn't have given semicah as such mechitzufim will only cause troubles for any rav h'machsir.Rav Moshe must of felt he shouldn't make such chesbonos.