Moichel me? Are all Mechilas the same?
As we get ready to make one last request to the RBSO for forgiveness, I am reminded that on this day we must reach out and ask forgiveness from our fellow man (women as well.)
And with that in mind, the Oisvorfer begs forgiveness from all of his friends and followers. If I have offended you in any way, it’s likely that I meant it. Still it’s Yoim Kippur, a day we ask the RBSO to forgive us and we are taught that He won’t consider our appeal until we do the same for one another and until avada, we respond to the Shul’s appeal. Nu: in the end somehow, it’s always about the money, yet another part of our beautiful religion.
Yikes!! Yoim Kippur is mamish here and Raboyseyee and Raboyseyettes, this is your last chance to make nice to the RBSO and beg His forgiveness. I’ve been beseeching you for weeks about the ‘big one’ but did you listen? A nechtiger tug (of course not). And instead of shlugging kapuros with a live chicken, mistama you took the opportunity to choke the chicken one last time before this day of awe, repentance, forgiveness, hunger and bad breath. Nu, lucky for you (and me) the RBSO understands that we’re just human and that our despicable behavior is mamish not totally our fault. He understands that it’s nothing more than a case of minhag avoisaynu beyodaynu (a custom since high school, if you chap) and that we’re damaged goods. He also chaps that we still carry the scars of Hitler, that bastard – hey, isn’t everything his fault, and from our childhood Rebbeyim who used their shtekens (sticks) instead of kind words of encouragement; didn’t they learn what happened to Moishe Rabaynu when he used his shteken in the wrong place? And as Yoim Kippur quickly approaches and as you get ready to hear your local Rabbi, Rebbe or Ruv get up and ask the entire Shul, the community and maybe even specifically you- though not by name -for mechila (forgiveness) just before he also asks you to cough up nicely for the Yoim Kippur appeal, efsher you’re wondering…..does he really mean it? Or, is he just uttering the words and going through the motions because that’s what Rabbis do; is that kosher mechila? And what is mechila and why do we spend the days leading up to this Yom Tov calling and or asking in person, for mechila?
Says the heylige gemoro: that Yoim Kippur only forgives sins committed against the RBSO. Sins including those you do daily, including bad mouthing, loshoin horo, rechilus, rumour mongering and more, against fellow man, including, at times, even your best buddies, can only be forgiven by request. You must request forgiveness from the person you have wronged. But what are we doing when we ask for that forgiveness? Are we asking our buddies to make believe it all never happened? But nebech it did. Avada (surely) you sat around the lunch table bad mouthing others didn’t you? What to do? Seemingly, we must make peace with them as a prerequisite to having the RBSO accept our own apologies. Says the RBSO: if you low-lifes won’t apologize to your fellow man, don’t bother asking for mine. You’re nothing but a disgusting excuse for a human being and deserve to be eliminated from the game of life.
And following in the great Jewish tradition, avada there’s a machloikes (disagreement and or argument) as to how we are to achieve mechila between man and fellow man. Grabbing his mechila (rear end) will not get the job done, though that approach too has been tried in many mikvehs. Avada, there’s nothing like a last minute machloikes to resolve peace issues. Says The Chofetz Chayim: if one aggrieved his fellow man, he must ask for mechila, no exceptions. Ober (but) saysReb Yisroel Salanter that since asking for mechila may cause more pain, one shouldn’t ask. What’s pshat? His thinking is that if by asking, one may open old wounds and cause yet more pain, one should just move on.
1- Says the Chidah and a few others: If you do not ask your friend for mechila, Yoim Kippur is not michaper (does not atone) even your aveiros (sins) to the RBSO . You may as well leave shul, go home and have a beer.
2. If you’re so pissed off at your buddy that you cannot remove the hatred (the more tyoical scenario) from your heart, your tefilois (prayers) are not accepted (Mateh Efraim.). In that case, follow directions found above and add a sandwich.
3. You must also, according to the Piskei Tshuvos (606:1) ask for mechila from your buddy even if your friend was angry at you for no good reason or no reason at all. In fact, even if he may have started the gantze (entire) misunderstanding.
4. You should ask mechila in person and not through an intermediary. In other words: no hallmark, no fax and zicher no email or text messaging allowed. Avada some are lenient on this matter and do allow for internet mechila, provided that you and the buddy both have and use Skype accounts, free of course. Bidieved (if all else fails,) you may have in mind that you will contact him after Yom Kippur as soon as possible and make arrangements for a personal apology (fat chance of that happening.) And since, in your own twisted mind, you did nothing wrong, you’ll be pissed off at yourself and him for the entire coming year for having humiliated yourself with an apology. Bazman Hazeh (in our times) the new minhag is not to call, not to show up in person and not even to ask for mechila. Today we rely on email greetings, bbms and other less personal contact. Gishmak!
5. Some say that even if you know your buddy was moichel (forgave) you, you still need to ask his mechila because the humility associated with asking, is part of the kapara (forgiveness process.) Others of course say this is not necessary.
6. You must specify what it is that you did when asking for Mechila. If telling your friend what you did will cause him more pain then it is best to ask for mechila without getting into details (Reb Yisroel Salanter.) We call this the general mechila.
Nu, so what taka happens in a case where you were naughty, did bad mouth your buddy, he did find out and he and you had a huge pow wow about the incident? Must you still ask for mechila or are you covered by the fact that he too may have been guilty of hurting your feelings? Does mutual anger and hurt obviate the need for mechila? As you can imagine, many such cases have taka mamish really taken place and says The Chavas Ya’ir in his Sefer Mekor Chaim- that you must still ask for Mechila, but for a lower level of mechila. Mechila has levels? You can ask for 50% mechila? What’s p’shat? Seemingly there’s a difference in the degree of Mechila that you must seek. If your friend counter attacked but then you go ahead and buy him and Aliya for a few hundred bucks and after the Aliya he says “Shkoi’ach” (thank you,) that is considered Mechila. We call that ‘implied mechila” – all is good; you’ve been bought. However if he did not counterattack when you wronged him, then trying to buy his Mechila with the old ‘buying him the aliya’ trick does not quite cut it and you are obligated to personally go over to him and apologize and hope he forgives you. In other words: save your cash.
But the emes is Raboyseyee that the RBSO is anxiously awaiting your t’shuva and is willing to accept you back at any time Show him a sign and he’ll help you. I could swear I saw those words somewhere in the Machzor (Holiday prayer book) just the other day. In fact says the RambaM in Hilchos T’shuva that the RBSO on Yom Kippur will forgive you for all your avayrois including the ones you are most likely guilty of and specifically mentions forbidden relations; he wants to hear that you’re sorry, that you won’t do it again. What he won’t however forgive, are all the avayrois you did between yourself and your fellow man. Listen up meyne tieerer kinder: you must go to all the dozens of people you hurt during the years and ask for mechila. Not that this really happens but it’s still nice to talk about. In reality, the only people that typically ask for your mechila is either the weirdo in the mikveh or the people that don’t need it. When was the last time that you were approached for mechila by someone that really wronged you? Never, that’s when!
And in order to help you with the process, the Oisvorfer has created his own short shtar mechila form (Mechila one sided agreement) which is worth the paper it’s written on and more. Hec we have forms of Pruzbill, Heter Iska, Sale of Chometz agreements, why not a form of Mechila?
1) Sinners (your) Name: ________________
2) Where did I meet you: ___________
3) What I allegedly did wrong :________(use additional sheets if necessary)
3A- Money issues? _______Amount you claim ______if not, see below
4) Did I just hurt your feelings?
4a)- Did I bad mouth you? Yes?_____How many times?_____ Who told you?_____
4b) Name and address of individual that outed me
4c)- I’ll kill that bastard for telling you_____
4) I’m sorry!!
5) Are you moichel me?
6) Get over it!!
7) Thank you
And while many are taka getting busy for the big day by preparing their non leather shoes, their kittels, white yarmulkas, and yurtzeit candles, others have been placing orders with their local pharmacies for their allotment of caffeine suppositories. Just last week, while accompanying a chasiddishe chaver on a trip to the pharmacy for an emergency dose of penicillin, I overheard the following exchange between another chosid and the pharmacist.
Chosid: anchuldikt (excuse me)
Pharmacist: yes- how can I be of help?
Chosid: do you efsher have Yoim Kippur suppositories?
Pharmacist: avada! We carry Tylenol, Advil and a few other brands and how many would you like?
Chosid: tzvey hindird shtik (200 pieces)
Pharmacist: 200? Bist de mishuga (r u r crazy)
Chosid: not at all; I have yurtzeit on Yoim Kippur – I’m giving kiddish
Since when is shtupping (shoving) a suppository into one’s mechila (behind) kosher? Is this not the quintessential backdoor loophole, if you chap.
A meyseh she-hoyo (true story?) Ver veyst (who knows) but as emes as many other Aggadatas and medrashic interpretations. Anyway- in a world where even toilet paper could one day require a hechsher (kosher certification) who decided that a suppository up the mechila on erev Yoim Kippur or even bo’ bayom (on the day itself,) was kosher? Is this not an exit area? Is this the pathway to the RBSO? Or does the end, if you chap, justify the means? Yikes! And is this halachically sanctioned? Ver veyst? Do all Rabonim agree on this approach? Zicher nisht, One late Achroin suggested that suppositories may only be inserted on erev Yoim Kippur but others who came up right behind him suggest that if one has in mind, then one may taka insert additional dosages as prescribed so long as he doesn’t have his chaver (buddy) assisting him. Ober, should he taka require such assistance, it’s best to offer this help during the avoida when one has 5 or 6 such opportunities to get the right angle. On the other hand, is a person full of suppositories required to fall koirim during the avoido or should he?
Nu, yet another machloikes broke out over the washing of the hands post insertion with the Asher Yotzar adamantly stating that despite the fact that the hand was in an area that typically requires a full washing, one must be careful only to wash not more than up to the knuckles and in extreme emergencies, he may also wash the affected area.
As I see it, Yom Kippur is more about a day of health, a day when we purge our bodies from all the excess food including challah, cake and dessert we ate like chazerim over the 3 day yom tov/shabbis combo. It’s a day of fitness and core training. It’s a day when we try out new forms of exercise including perfectly timed stand-ups (vs. sit-ups). In this exercise, like trained robots, we watch as the entire congregation stands and sits in unison as the Uron (ark) is opened and closed every five or fewer minutes. We also improve our core by shokeling in every direction.
And while the jury is still out, it’s perhaps best not to take any chances by skipping over the opportunity to clean our slates, certainly you oisvorfs could use a good soul cleansing Let’s thank the RBSO for affording us this second chance and let’s all daven with or without the talis over our heads for a good year ahead.
The Oisvorfer Ruv