The Seven Dynamics of Divine Forgiveness

Summaries, Charts, Translations and aids
for recorded lectures by Rabbi Ginsburgh

God is a forgiver in essence. The more that we can emulate His forgiveness in our lives, the more we will be deserving of Divine forgiveness. What are the dynamics of this Divine forgiveness, and why does it awaken awe in our souls? In this audio lecture given on the eve of Selichot 5764, Rabbi Ginsburgh delves into the depths of the process of forgiveness. When we apply our understanding of Divine forgiveness to our relationship with God and to forgiving others, we open ourselves to love-filled awe of God and to healthy and creative relationships with our loved ones.

This lecture was recorded live in Crown Heights, NY on the 26th of Elul 5764 (Sep 2004), Sat night the eve of Selichot 5764.


The following is a written summary of the audio lecture
for “The Seven Dynamics of Divine Forgiveness” (#25Elul64).
Click here to listen to the audio lecture.


“For with You is Forgiveness
so that You will be Feared”

(Psalms 130:4)

Sefirah

Explanation according to:

Forgiveness Dynamic

How this Dynamic Produces Awe

How this Dynamic Relates to Sefirah

Chesed

“Loving-kindness”

Tzemach Tzedek based on explanation of the Alter Rebbe

Hachzarat Haratzon

“Please reappear” — Supernatural forgiveness

Reappearance of something that has vanished leaves us awestruck

Reappearance is coming close again — love

Gevurah

“Might”

Tzemach Tzedek based on the Midrash

God holds back His forgiveness, releasing it as we progress in our return to Him

The fact that God is holding back His forgiveness produces awe

Holding back forgiveness isgevurah

Tiferet

“Compassion”

Malbim

God is a forgiver in essence. He does not need to be aroused to forgive by external forces

God’s essential forgiveness is a revelation of His Exalted Hand — God is never “hurt.” This arouses our awe.

God’s essential compassion istiferet

Malchut

“Kingdom”

Ibn Ezra

King David in this verse: “It is worthy for You to forgive me.” Others will see that even an individual person can repent and be forgiven

When others see that You have forgiven me, they will have awe for You.

If even the King of Israel (malchut) can be forgiven for his sin, so can a regular person be forgiven

Netzach

“Confidence”

 

Ibn Yichyah

You (God) must forgive me if You want me to fear You. Otherwise I will kick back

If You don’t forgive me, this will cause me to rebel and not fear You

A “kicking” reaction is the “right foot” —netzach

 

Hod

“Sincerity”

Parable of Alter Rebbe brought by Tzemach Tzedek

We cannot pay back our debt to You, but we sincerely want to try. Please accept partial payment over a long period of time.

Kind acceptance of our partial payment awakens us to awe — to do our utmost to pay in full even though it is beyond our means

Our sincerity (hod) is met by God’s patient benevolence

Yesod

“Truth”

Rashi and other commentaries

Only You can forgive me. No one or nothing else can

We fear only God

(Ba’al Shem Tov)

Focus on God as only One is yesod

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