How do we forgive? - Psalm 56:12 מַה־יַּֽעֲשֶׂ֖ה אָדָ֣ם לִֽי
(יב) בֵּֽאלֹהִ֣ים בָּ֭טַחְתִּי לֹ֣א אִירָ֑א מַה־יַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה אָדָ֣ם לִֽי׃

(12) in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can man do to me?

What does the Book of Psalms say about forgiveness?

Psalm 56:12

"In God I trust. I do not fear

what can man do to me?"

B’Elokim batachti. Lo ira

Ma ya’asei adam li.”

It is much easier to speak about the distance between planets and the speed of light than to address the questions of human caused suffering.

Why does brother harm brother? Why does an eager young man with the world before him fall and never reach 19? Why do people thoughtlessly hurt each other with words and deeds? Why?

Perhaps these questions are unanswerable. Therefore, it is left for us to give forgiveness, or if that is not possible then to release any hatred we may feel, and not to judge - to understand that God is the one true judge who knows the heart and mind of every person.

The ‘Prayer Before Retiring at Night’ contains a prayer of forgiveness:

I hereby forgive anyone who angered or vexed me or sinned against me, either physically, or financially, against my honor or anything else that is mine; whether accidentally, intentionally, inadvertently or deliberately;

by speech or by deed,

in this incarnation or in any other.

May no man be punished on my account.

May it be Your will, Lord, my God

And God of my forefathers,

that I shall sin no more

nor repeat my sins,

neither shall I again anger You

nor do what is wrong in Your eyes.

The sins I have committed,

erase in Your abounding mercies,

but not through suffering or severe illnesses.

May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable before You, Lord,

my Strength and my Redeemer.”

(reprinted with kind permission from

Siddur Tehillat Hashem © 1995,.

Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch,

770 Eastern Parkway,

Brooklyn, New York.) Link Here

The psalmist asks: ‘What can man do to me?’

For each lifetime is but a moment relative to God's time.

Once we realize and accept this, there is no fear of standing for what is right, for being brave and truthful and strong. Not to judge the why of the other but rather to persevere in our own mission in life: A life that is but a moment, and yet is integrally connected with the eternal.

(from the book "Software for the Soul: Psalms for Everyone - discovering the inner meanings.

Click Here for the link.)