1. If our fellow man has injured us, offended us, or done us some
sort of wrong, rather than bear a grudge or take vengeance, we should
adopt an attitude of forgiveness, and we should realize that the other
person is but an envoy sent by Heaven, to help us atone for our sins.
If he asks for forgiveness, we must certainly grant it. Even if he is
shameless and does not come to make peace, we must be forebearing and
2. There are various levels of vengeance, and all are prohibited. For
example, it is forbidden to harm someone physically, in revenge for
his harming you. In addition, if we refuse to do someone a favor because
he refused to do us a favor, this, too, is revenge, and it is prohibited.
Also, it is forbidden to bear a grudge. For example, if a person has
refused us a favor in the past, and he now comes to ask a favor for
himself, we cannot think, and certainly we cannot bay, "I'll do
you the favor, even though you refused me". In sum, we must forgive
and forget because G-d wants us to love and respect one another.2 If
we learn to be forgiving, we will be much happier, in this world and
the next. and G-d will be even more inclined to act forgivingly towards
I . Tana Debei Elliyahu Rabba, 26.
2. Ir Miklat, Me'am Lo'ez.
3. Sefer Horev, Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch, p. 63.
remarks are with the endorsement of the (former) Hahambashi, HaRav Raphael
E. Saban zt"l and the endorsement of the Beit Din of Turkey. These
are based on the Sephardic tradition from Turkey, handed down to us
from Castile, Spain.