May 26, 2024
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‘iForgive’: Rabbi Larry Rothwachs Addresses Ma’ayanot at Kinus Teshuva

At Ma’ayanot’s annual Kinus Teshuva shiur, which was held on Tzom Gedaliah, Rabbi Larry Rothwachs of Congregation Beth Aaron of Teaneck, director of professional rabbinics at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), and former Ma’ayanot parent, spoke to students on the topic “iForgive: Real Connectivity in the Virtual World.” Rabbi Rothwachs discussed the importance of doing teshuva bein adam lechaveiro (repentance between friends), which he acknowledged “can be very daunting.” Based on halachic sources, he emphasized to students the importance of asking mechila in person instead of in group chats on WhatsApp and social media. “Asking mechila directly can be uncomfortable and humiliating but afterward it can be a cleansing and liberating experience,” he said. “You will feel more true to yourself.” At the same time, when asked for forgiveness, it is equally important to be forgiving.

“The shiur was really inspiring,” said Dina Halberstam, a sophomore from Bergenfield. “Everyone sends Whatsapps saying ‘Are you mochel me for everything I did this year?’ But it’s not an actual way of saying I’m sorry. It’s not as sincere as approaching someone in person.”

“We were privileged to hear Rabbi Rothwachs’ warm and inspiring shiur, and b’ezrat Hashem it will deepen our students’ personal commitment to teshuva, cheshbon hanefesh and sensitivity as we enter Yom Kippur,” added Rivka Kahan, principal of Ma’ayanot.

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