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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 12, 2007 / 29 Elul, 5767

Lost opportunities on Yom Kippur Eve

By Jonathan Rosenblum


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What I know about saying "Sorry"


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of all the silly sentences produced by American pop culture, my personal choice for silliest is Erich Segal's, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (Who but a Yale professor could have written something so dumb?) "Love means always being prepared to say you are sorry," is far sounder advice to newlyweds.


Certainly, the Torah places a high premium on the willingness to seek forgiveness from both G-d and man. Verbal confession is one of the essential elements of repentance. And Maimonides, in his Laws of Repentance, teaches that on Yom Kippur G-d will not forgive our sins against our fellow man until we have made restitution and received his forgiveness. Thus the custom of requesting mechillah (forgiveness) as Yom Kippur approaches.


Neither admitting that we have wronged someone else or seeking his forgiveness comes easily to most of us. Who has not experienced holding a phone in the air while trying to summon up the courage to make an uncomfortable phone call to someone we have injured? And usually the receiver is replaced with the call still unmade.


Even with loved ones, whom we can be pretty confident of having recently injured, we tend to put off our requests for forgiveness to late on Erev (eve of) Yom Kippur. The lateness of the hour leaves less time to dwell on unpleasant details. But it also provides none of the purgative power of a serious request for forgiveness, with all the soul-searching entailed.


In recent years, I have been twice privileged to experience how elevated that self-scrutiny can be. One Erev Yom Kippur, I received a call from a rabbi who told me that he had been reviewing the past year, and feared that he had not expressed adequate gratitude to me.


What had I done for him? Almost nothing. I had spent the better part of an evening discussing with him a dispute in which he was involved in a particular institution. After further research, I had written a piece about the situation. But that piece was ultimately not published.


I never told the rabbi about the piece left on the cutting-room floor, and so as far as he knew, I had done nothing to follow up on our conversation. If anything, he would have been entitled to feel that I had let him down. Nor had I felt the slightest bit unappreciated. After our late-night discussion, he had thanked me profusely for my time.


How I made it to his Erev Yom Kippur radar screen, I cannot fathom. But I gained from him some sense of what it means to truly scrutinize one's deeds of the previous year.


LAST YEAR, I received an Erev Yom Kippur call from someone with whom I had a brief, and not terribly pleasant, conversation at least six months earlier. Prior to that, we had exchanged a few Emails, after he wrote me how much he had gained from a biography I had written.


When we found ourselves together at a conference a few months later, I was eager to make a personal connection. At the first break, I introduced myself and mentioned that if he had enjoyed the Rabbi Dessler biography, he would probably enjoy another one as well. I'm no stranger to verbal faux pas, and would be the first to grant that was not the classiest opening line. Still I was taken back by the sharpness of his response: "Don't you have anything else to talk about than the books you have written?"


At that point, I could probably not have recalled my name, much less come up with a grabby new conversation topic, and so I beat a hasty retreat. I spent the next session puzzling over how I had provoked such a response, especially from someone I knew from a number of mutual acquaintances to be both too nice and too classy to cut down strangers for sport. In the end, I consoled myself that nothing had happened: We did not have a relationship before our brief exchange and clearly would not have one in the future. And, at least, no one had overheard our exchange.


With that, I put the matter out of mind. Out of mind, but not forgotten, it turned out, for when he called on Erev Yom Kippur, the memory of our last conversation came rushing back. And that conversation was the subject of his call.


He had not only remembered a 15-second exchange, in the course of a hectic year filled with hundreds of meetings. He had also overcome the temptation to tell himself that there was no point in dredging up an old insult I must surely have forgotten or was too thick to have noticed in the first place.


My first reaction to his request for forgiveness was a feeling of closure on an unpleasant incident. My second was awe at the seriousness with which he approached Yom Kippur.


It turned out that I was wrong about there being no hope of ever establishing a future relationship. With that apology, a completely new page was opened, and we have since spoken at length. Indeed by revealing a depth of character in that I would never have known about had we just spent five minutes exchanging pleasantries, the apology paved the way for a much closer relationship.


I wonder how many other possibly rewarding relationships are lost just because of a failure to utter two simple words — "I'm sorry." Worse, how many of our closest relationships are destroyed, pace Mr. Segal, because of the same failure?


Today, Erev Yom Kippur, is the ideal opportunity to experience the power of confession on both the one seeking forgiveness and the one giving it. The impact is immediate, and not confined to the Heavenly books that will be sealed tomorrow night as our prayers close at Neilah.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is founder of Jewish Media Resources and a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post's domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv. He is also a respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. Rosenblum lives in Jerusalem with his wife and eight children.


© 2007, Jonathan Rosenblum