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Surely the mother who you claim to have been hardworking, devoted and caring was not consciously aware of the damage she was inflicting on her youngest child, her “baby.” By contrast, in the next world everything is up front and crystal clear; there’s no dancing around the truth in the World of Truth. Your mother is not only fully aware of right and wrong, but is cognizant of your tormented soul’s anguish.

The Torah exhorts us to be respectful of our parents — in life and in death, whether we love them or not. “Chayov l’chabdom gam l’achar moisom – one is obligated to honor one’s parents even after their death.” We are to honor a deceased parent by saying, “May her [or his] memory be a blessing in the life of the World to Come”, or “zichronah [zichrono] l’brocha l’chayai ha’olam haba” when we refer to them.

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The saying of Kaddish, doing mitzvos and various forms of chesed have the potential of carrying our parents’ souls to the loftiest of heights. Moreover, their neshamos are aware of all that is being done and, in turn, have considerable power to affect the lives of their children here on earth.

Your mother’s soul is bound up with yours; your pain is her pain and the slightest grudge you bear in your heart for your mom disturbs her menucha in Gan Eden. By forgiving your mother wholeheartedly you will be doing her neshama a tremendous chesed, which will bode positively for you in more ways than one.

As for the rest of us, we all fervently hope and pray to our Father in heaven that He pardon us for our sins as Rosh Hashanah quickly approaches. How better to prove ourselves worthy of divine forgiveness than by asking for forgiveness of one another for any hurts or slights we may have been the cause of, whether intentionally or inadvertently…

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