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“Then Judah approached him and said: ‘Please, my master, let me speak a word to my master. Do not be angry with your servant, for you are equal to Pharaoh himself’ (Genesis 44:18).” A guilty person can deal with his guilt in one of two ways: 1) Justice, arguing his case and finding a way to justify himself, and find merit, or, 2) asking forgiveness, relying on the other party’s kindness.


The former must lay out a strong case, while the latter need only find kindness in the heart of a person with the power to forgive, the king. Judah inisists that he speaks to the Viceroy’s heart of kindness because he is ‘equal to Pharaoh,’ and has the power to forgive. (Malbim)

We can use this approach in the Blessing of Selichah – Forgiveness. We are approaching God, the Ultimate Power and authority, because He has the power to forgive, and we do not need to argue our case, but to address His Attribute of Kindness.

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