Asking for forgiveness via E-mail
Ed Truitt from Denver wrote:
We raised an interesting question over lunch today and would like to know your answer. Is it permissible to ask for mechilot (forgiveness) over an email network rather than in person? I know it's not preferable, but many of us work in large networked environments. We considered the option of sending it receipt-requested to a specific address rather than an all-points broadcast
There are two components in achieving forgiveness from someone we have wronged. One is the initiative of asking for forgiveness; the other is the granting of the forgiveness. Ideally, we try for both. Nevertheless, a Jew says in his pre-Kol Nidre confession that he forgives anyone who wronged him, and prays that Heaven will inspire others to forgive him as well. An E-mail request for forgiveness achieves at least this much of an effect - and even more.