Repentance and Forgiveness (Narrative)

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Yirmeya insulted Rabbi Abba, causing the latter to have a complaint against him.  Rabbi Yirmeya went and sat at the threshold of Rabbi Abba’s house to beg him for forgiveness. When Rabbi Abba’s maid poured out the dirty water from the house, the stream of water landed on Rabbi Yirmeya’s head. He said about himself: They have made me into a trash heap, as they are pouring dirty water on me. He recited this verse about himself: “Who lifts up the needy out of the trash heap”(Psalms 113:7). Rabbi Abba heard what happened and went out to greet him. Rabbi Abba said to him: Now I must go out to appease you for this insult, as it is written: “Go, humble yourself [hitrapes] and urge your neighbor”(Proverbs 6:3).

It is related that when Rabbi Zeira had a complaint against a person who insulted him, he would pace back and forth before him, and present himself, so that the person could come and appease him.  Rabbi Zeira made himself available so that it would be easy for the other person to apologize to him.

It is further related that Rav had a complaint against a certain butcher who insulted him.The butcher did not come before him to apologize. On Yom Kippur eve, Rav said: I will go and appease him. He met his student Rav Huna, who said to him: Where is my Master going? He said to him: I am going to appease so-and-so. Rav Huna called Rav by his name and said: Abba is going to kill a person, for surely that person’s end will not be good. Rav went and stood by him. He found the butcher sitting and splitting the headof an animal. The butcher raised his eyes and saw him. He said to him: Are you Abba? Go, I have nothing to say to you. While he was splitting the head, one of the bones of the head flew out and struck him in the throat and killed him, thereby fulfilling Rav Huna’s prediction.  (Sefaria)

–Yoma 87a14-16 (Talmud)

“Abe’s Poultry Store: We Have a Butcher” by Nathan Hilu