Bernhard Rosenberg

Say NO to unforgiveness

Say NO to unforgiveness, do not let your past effect your health and future.



What do you do when you are offended; hurt by others people words or actions?

I believe we all been hurt in some point of our life, maybe betrayed, and disappointed by a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or even a brother, sister.

You would agree that after any offense you get ANGRY, BITTER, you start automatically to dislike that person maybe even hate, wish him the worst.

You see all these negative emotions IF NOT deal properly are very dangerous to your HEALTH as well to close people around you. Know this;


Have you ever seen a beautiful apple and when you cut it in half you find it is rotten. Simply anger and bitterness eats away at us from the inside.  We do not see it and we simply do not realize that and some people carry the bitterness through their whole entire life.

How anger, hate resentment, bitterness hurt us;

All these negative emotions have one thing in common; they trigger stress reaction and as we stress, a big amount of cortisol and adrenaline is released into the blood stream.  This is a natural stress reaction. It is called fight or flight. After the threat is gone, the stress hormones are cleared from our body. BUT carrying around a load of anger and hate, desire for revenge, feeling of hurt keep all these stress hormones active in our body and over a long time results in a damage to our body. Our arteries are being damage; the plaque buildup starts to form.  The heart begins to suffer. Also your immune system is down which make you vulnerable to any disease (your body is simply not able to fight any disease) .Being stressed makes you feeling tired, worn down, it disrupts the harmony of brain waves, gives you sleepless nights also will lead you to anxiety and depression as well to addiction (because at some point your going to find yourself so miserable  to ease the pain you may look for a relief in alcohol, drugs etc.).

The quality of life with unforgiveness; your life inside as well outside is affected, it definitely robs you of your joy, you can longer enjoy life because most of the time you spend you think about the offense or offender. You basically can’t move forward with your life, think clearly, or make a good decision.

It also affects the people around you, for example if you are mad at your brother or sister, your whole family suffers.

Healthy new relationships are not possible. Why?  Because you will bring that anger and bitterness to that new relationship and it’s not fun. REMEMBER,

You can never live in the present well if you stuck in the past.

IF YOU THINK that by holding to unforgiveness you are accomplishing something YOU ARE WRONG .YES, you want the offender to be punished or feel guilty or ashamed, but unforgiveness does not accomplish the goal you think the ONLY person it hurts the most is YOU.

What can you do about it, find the COURAGE to forgive. It is not easy. It is a process and the CHOICE you can take.

What is forgiveness? It is letting go of grudges and bitterness and thoughts of revenge. What forgiveness is not? Forgiveness is not justifying other actions or denying the hurt (otherwise your wounds will never heal). It’s not forgetting it (for example how you can forget if your brother got killed by a drunk driver). .

Say NO to unforgiveness, do not let your past effect your health and future.

About the Author
Rabbi Dr. Bernhard H. Rosenberg, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth-El, Edison, New Jersey received his ordination and doctorate of Education from Yeshiva University in New York. He also possesses A.A., B.A., M.A., and M.S. degrees in communication and education. He possesses a Doctor of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. He taught at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Yeshiva University in New York. His books include: “Theological and Halachic Reflections on the Holocaust,” “Contemplating the Holocaust,” “The Holocaust as Seen Through Film,” and "Echoes of the Holocaust."