There are some people who have a lot to ask mechilah [forgiveness] for and yet – they never do. They go an entire lifetime not asking forgiveness from those they have hurt. היתכן??? Can it be???
Yom Kippur doesn’t atone for sins between man and his fellow man. According to some, this means that if one doessn’t ask his fellow man for forgiveness, Hashem doesn’t atone not only for those sins but also for sins between man and G-d. Nothing. Zilcho. So how can anybody go through Yom Kippur without asking for forgiveness from those around him?? Husband from wife. Wife from husband. Parents from children. Children from parents. Siblings. Teachers from students. Students form teachers. Co-workers from each. Neighbors. The list goes on and on. People are sensitive and vulnerable. We must make amends when we hurt them.
There are others who refuse to forgive. Why? I don’t know. I know one irascible Jew who seems to have a policy. No forgiving. He walks around holding grudges against people for life. So is his mental illness. The problem is that he is in a position of power which he uses to abuse people. People know about this and allow him to continue.
Other people say “You don’t have to ask for forgiveness. You did nothing.” How do you know? Do you know what I think about you [עי’ זכריה ח-י”ז] and say about you behind your back?? Just be a mentsch and forgive. But no – they refuse.
The Rambam says that a person who refuses to forgive is cruel:
אסור לאדם להיות אכזרי ולא יתפייס, אלא יהא נוח לרצות וקשה לכעוס. ובשעה שמבקש ממנו החוטא למחול, מוחל בלב שלם ובנפש חפיצה, ואפילו הצר לו וחטא לו הרבה, לא יקום ולא יטור. וזהו דרכם של זרע ישראל ולבם הנכון. אבל העובדי כוכבים ערלי לב אינן כן, אלא “ועברתן שמרה נצח” (עמוס א, יא). וכן הוא אומר על הגבעונים לפי שלא מחלו ולא נתפייסו, “והגבעונים לא מבני ישראל המה” (שמואל ב כא, ב).