Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: Growing up, we had a steady babysitter in our home. As normal children do, we sometimes misbehaved. I recall that we once shouted at her, “Go home, we don’t need you to come anymore!” It seemed that she was insulted by our words because she left us shortly after the incident.

As adults, we are bothered by these memories. We were all children under the age of bar/bas mitzvah and we may have asked for forgiveness at the time. (None of us have clear recollections of her forgiving us.) We want to know if we are obligated to seek the babysitter’s forgiveness, as the thought of having offended her niggles at us.

A: According to the facts given above, it is questionable whether your behavior was out of line for children. It is also possible that the babysitter elicited your offensive behavior and that you or your parents obtained her forgiveness at that point in time.

Additionally, you were under the age of bar/bas mitzvah. Because of the uncertainties involved, you have no obligation to locate the babysitter to seek her forgiveness, and the only question that remains is your responsibility klapei Shamayim.


The following questions and answers were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hamodia.