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The Power Of Forgiveness: A Zohar Legend -

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Resource Type: Story in: English
Age: 10-100
Group Size: 1-100
Estimated Time: 5 minutes

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Resource Goal

Rabbi Abba (the scribe of the Zohar) once sat at the gateway of the Town of Lud. He saw a traveler sit down on a pile of rocks at the edge of a mountain overlooking a cliff. The man was exhausted for his journey and immediately fell asleep.


Resource Contents

ThePower of Forgiveness: A Zohar Legend

Rabbi Abba (the scribe of the Zohar) once sat at the gateway of the Town of Lud.

He saw a traveler sit down on a pile of rocks at the edge of a mountain overlooking a cliff. The man was exhausted for his journey and immediately fell asleep. R. Abba watched this innocuous scene for a bit until to his dismay he watched as a deadly snake slithered out of the rocks making its way towards to the sleeping man.

[R. Abba, who for some reason was immobilized and transfixed by this unfolding drama,] suddenly watched as a new turn of events happened. A giant lizard jumped out between the rocks and killed the serpent.

R. Abba continued watching and saw that the man stood up and was perplexed to see a beheaded snake lying in front of him. He quickly gathered his possessions and rose to continue his journey. At that instant the pile of rocks he was sitting on collapsed and fell into the ravine below.

The man was about to wander off when R. Abba ran after him and recounted everything hehad witnessed. R. Abba asked the man, "My friend to what do you attribute all these miracles that just transpired?"

The traveler at first did not want to bothered but felt the sincerity of R. Abba's question and confided in him.

"Throughout my life I have never let a person harm me, and where I did not pacify him. Never have I gone to sleep without forgiving someone for hurting me in any way. Anyone who would hurt me would I endeavor, with all my heart, to resolve whatever animosity was between us. And lastly, I would turn the hateful situation to doing acts of kindness for the person involved in the misunderstanding."

When R. Abba heard this he burst into tears. This person's actions were greater than Joseph. For Joseph had to deal with his brothers; of course he was going to forgive his brothers. But this man forgives anyone and everyone who has harmed him. It is no surprise that God performs miracles on a daily basis for this blessed man.

committed, but when reality hit us, we were unable to achieve our goals without G-d's interference.

In the story of the AKEDAH we find Abraham doing theexact opposite. G-d promised him that he would have manyoffspring, thenG-d goes backon his promise and wants to take awayAbraham's only child.We would expect Abraham to challenge G-D (like he did with the city of Sdom) but Abraham not only

doesn't challenge G-D he refused to stop till G-D forced him to stop.

The first thing Abraham does after this challenge is find the Ram with the Shofar. We see from both stories that the Shofar represents a challenge between the ideal and the reality. Between commitments that were given and the desire to renege due to the difficulty of observing them.

When we blow the shofar every year we blow it as individuals and we blow it as a nation. King David who alsoexperienced manychallenges as a public leader and as an individual standing in front of G-d. praises our nationwhich knows how to balance commitment and reality in order to fulfill G-d's wishes.

It is not always simple to understand what the right balance is, but the blowing of the shofar is our declaration to G-D and to ourselves that we are committed to finding the proper way.



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