Tag: Reconciliation


The Great Forgiving

This week’s Torah portion always gets me in the gut. It’s the story of Jacob returning to his long-estranged brother Esau, from whom he fled 20 years beforehand after betraying Esau by stealing his birthright and blessing. Now, so much time has passed, Jacob doesn’t even know Esau anymore. We can tell this because Jacob takes great pains to send gifts ahead, to prepare for Esau’s wrath but hope for his forgiveness, to plan for any eventual outcome. Jacob can’t anticipate Esau’s reaction. Despite Jacob’s worry that Esau’s still violently mad about......

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Repair and Reconciliation: Coming Back From a Broken Place

Two weeks ago, I wrote about an upcoming trip to Cuba and promised to report back. While I could not have known it before I went, my return, like this report, coming just before Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – is so well timed. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing! Yom Kippur promises that there is no sin from which we cannot recover, and no rupture that cannot be repaired. But do we really believe that? Do we really treat ourselves, let alone others, as if that were true? It turns......

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Reconciliation Is a Two-Way Street

Think about a time when someone hurt you, and then came seeking forgiveness. How often did you feel that they weren’t doing it “right,” or in the way you’d anticipated – and because of that, you found it impossible to accept their overture? And what about a time when you were the one apologizing, but your sincere efforts were not accepted? How hurt and angry were you? Each party may be sincere, and yet they remain far apart. Why? Because reconciliation is not only about our own sincerity. It is about appreciating......

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Rebuilding Relationships with Estranged Loved Ones

How can we rebuild relationships with loved ones from whom we’ve become estranged?? Let’s face it; if you have family, you almost certainly have relatives who fall into that category. Of course, I know that with some estranged family members, we’re more content to keep them at bay, and feel justified in doing so. (Although, even there, we should at least acknowledge that we do pay a cost for the estrangement.) But here, I’m talking about the breakdowns in relationships we really wish could be repaired. Most of us all have at......

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