I just finished speaking to a friend two weeks after he got up from Shiva, and I realized that there is a long list of “after” calls to make: not to the people who I visited during Shiva; those calls were made. I have to call all the people of whom I asked forgiveness to show that the request for forgiveness was only the first step. I now have to work at rebuilding relationships I have damaged.
I cannot make my “after” call and pretend all is well because I asked for forgiveness, but I must convey the message that I am determined to repair the relationship. It is only now that the real work begins. Is the relationship important enough to put in all that effort? Is the other party interested? How hard shall I try?
One more thought: Is this what our post Yom Kippur work is? Are we supposed to use our Mitzvot as demonstrations of our commitment to repair our relationship with God? Does the real Yom Kippur work begin after Yom Kippur?
Was that Jonah’s issue with the repentance of the people of Nineveh?
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