Achieving Forgiveness from Afar


Last year I got drunk one evening and had a fight with my then best friend while over her house. This escalated into further arguments in the coming days and we had a falling out. It’s a long story.

She was so appalled she applied for a legal restraining order against me that was granted. The restraining orders forbids me to go near her or to contact her by any means, whether it be in-person, phone, mail, email, text, social media, or even a third party. If I do, I risk jail time.

There is only one legal way I can contact her, and that is to send my desired communication to the overseeing judge, who in turn gets to decide whether or not to send the communication to her.

These requests apparently can take weeks or months to be fulfilled from within the judge’s busy schedule, if they happen at all.

As Yom Kippur is coming, I want to apologize for any wrongdoing and seek forgiveness from her. My only way legally to do that as I mentioned is through the judge. I sent a request to the judge around the beginning of Elul, thinking that was enough time, but so far have not heard back. I have repeatedly called the judge’s secretary, who keeps telling me he will get back to me when his schedule permits. The judge and secretary I am dealing with are both Jewish, and I thought they would therefore be understanding that I have a Yom Kippur deadline, which I explicitly stated to the secretary, but apparently this has not helped.

I am not trying to restore our friendship. I do not want to ask too much out of her. I am just trying to get her to forgive me. That is all.



  1. While I truly appreciate your desire to take care of the matter before Yom Kippur, it does not sound as if it is going to happen. But do not despair! Hashem takes every single detail into account when reviewing a person’s actions over the year. That means that Hashem knows that you tried your best to ask for forgiveness before Yom Kippur and you were not successful through no fault of your own. As of right now, you have done whatever was in your power to do, and the rest is dependent on others.

    The good news is that, despite your not going into this Yom Kippur having asked for forgiveness, the power to do so is extant at all times, and the minute the judge rules (hopefully) that you can communicate to your friend, you should do so immediately.

    Please know that even in the worst case scenario if the judge decides you cannot be in contact with her, nevertheless, you have done the maximum you can under the circumstances.

    Best wishes from the Team