אבינו מלכנו מחוק ברחמיך הרבים כל שטרי חובותינו
One of the close associates of the Tolerner Rebbe zt”l recounted an inspiring story he experienced while accompanying his Rebbe back to Bayit Vegan where the Rebbe lived. On the way the Rebbe made a stop a well-known pharmacy in Yerushalayim. At the pharmacy there were two pharmacists, a father and son. The father who recognized the Rebbe came over to happily greet him and ask for a brocha while the son was tending another customer. The son fumbled through the papers in front of him and informed the customer he was assisting of an old debt on file and asked for the owed payment. The way it was requested was not in the most sensitive tone.
Feeling uncomfortable from his son’s remark the father informed his son not to take any money from the customer for the debt since he forgave it a long time ago. The young pharmacist was frustrated. “Why are you causing me to be in an uncomfortable situation, I am asking a customer to pay a debt that is no longer relevant. If you decided to forgo the loan why didn’t you erase the amount owed from the store ledger? If one forgoes a loan it has to be documented!”
Noticing the uncomfortable situation, the Rebbe approached the two pharmacists with a shining smile. He informed them that they have given him clarity of a concept of עשרת ימי תשובה.
אבינו מלכנו מחוק ברחמיך הרבים כל שטרי חובותינו. אבינו מלכנו סלח ומחל לכל עבונותינו.
Why does the term specifically say erase?
We are requesting of Hashem to completely erase our debts and sins. Even if they are forgiven, they should be completely erased so that we won’t be requested to perhaps pay for them in the future.
תנחומך ישעשעו נפשי))