I'm Sorry

The Book of Life is opened for the new year on Rosh Hashanah and closed on Yom Kippur; between, we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for mistakes. In practice, this often means somewhat desperate attempts at apologies, and pressure to begin the new year with a clean slate.In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, Facebook suddenly fills with broadly-worded posts apologizing, some variation of: “To anyone I may have hurt this year, knowingly or unknowingly, I’m sorry and I ask for your forgiveness.” A few years ago, in a meta version of this trend, Mark Zuckerberg even posted one of his own, in which he also apologized for the ways in which his creation, Facebook, has been used to cause harm.But Yom Kippur is not a magic reset; forgiveness is complicated. It’s easier to write a post on social media than to confront real mistakes and pain, face-to-face, and ask absolution from those we’ve hurt who might not be ready to forgive.Nevertheless, we try. Below are stories of apologies accepted, apologies rejected, apologies to loved ones and neighbors and even to ourselves. Some of the apologies have still never been delivered; others were spoken before a crowd.Maybe they’ll inspire you to reach out to someone. Maybe it will just comfort you to know that we’re all human and we all make mistakes.Gmar chatima tova, and may we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.