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Asking Forgiveness from the Deceased

In my past I wronged someone who is unfortunately no longer alive today. Is there any way I can make amends?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

As a matter of fact, the Talmud (Yoma 87a) discusses your exact situation. The proper way to make amends it to go to his grave accompanied by ten people and to publicly confess that you sinned to the God of Israel and to him and that you did such and such, and you beg his forgiveness. At the end the others respond three times "machul lach" (“it is forgiven to you”). You should be barefoot during the course of this.

If it is too far for you to travel, you can send a messenger to do the same, accompanied by ten people. He should state that he is the agent of so and so, and has come to apologizing for such and such an act etc.

If you have no way of knowing where he is buried or it would be very difficult to arrange a visit to his grave, you can gather ten people where you are and do the same procedure.

My wishes that you achieve full atonement.

(Sources: Talmud Yoma 87a, Shulchan Aruch 606:2 with Mishna Berurah and Piskei Teshuvot.)

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