How To | Growing Faith

“God will not forgive until the person you have wronged forgives”: On Repentance, Faith, and Family Life

“God is sometimes easier to please than our fellow humans.”

This is Growing Faith, a column about parenting and faith coauthored by Saadia Faruqi and Shoshana Kordova. 

heshbon nefeshWe don’t hit people even if we want them to stop singing! No calling names!Bite food, not people!

Maimonides says true penitents are those who resist committing the same sin even when they find themselves in the same situation. Of course a young child isn’t considered to have sinned in any meaningful sense, but I was bothered by the lesson I thought I would be imparting, intentionally or not. Once she did get concepts like “mine” and “yours” and “sorry,” wouldn’t she be learning that all you have to do to show contrition is say a couple of magic words you don’t mean, and then commit the same offense when the next shiny new toy catches your eye? I had no doubt that my daughter was not going to start loving her neighbor as herself by virtue of a coerced, halfhearted-at-best “sorry.”

I’m sorry,


I’m sorry