Do I have to say that extra prayer of forgiving anyone who sinned against me before kriyas shema of bedtime?
You’re not mechuyav, but if you want to do it, it’s good business. It’s a good business opportunity. Like the Gemara says: נושא עון ועובר על פשע – For whom will Hashem be נושא עון? To whom will Hashem forgive his sins? To the one who is עובר על פשע; the one who is willing to forgive others (Rosh Hashanah 17a). If you forgive those who sinned against you, then Hashem will forgive your sins.
So it pays. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to say it but it’s good business because if you forgive others, Hashem will forgive you. So it pays. It pays to say it.
But you have to mean it. You have to put thought into it. Just to mumble the words because it’s in the siddur, won’t do you any good. You have to think about what you’re saying. Think about the neighbor or the co-worker or your wife who wronged you and forgive them. But do you have to say it? No. You don’t have to say it.
TAPE # E-221