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Fake forgiveness

Fake forgiveness

I HAVE no doubt that everyone of us has been offered an apology that was completely insincere, with the expectation — to rub salt in the wound — that we would accept it, and graciously, and then “move on.”

Apologies — fake and sincere — are far from a simple matter. These apologies that we are supposed to make before Yom Kippur, if we’re truly serious about it, engage our self-image, our ego, our capacity for honesty and our fear of rejection.

Does anyone really apologize?

The answer, no doubt, is yes, but before you put yourself in that category, consider:

Is an apology an apology if it’s designed to make me, the apologizer, feel better? Or is an apology about the person who has been hurt?

Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 September 2014 05:33 )

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Something new on repentance

Something new on repentanceIF repentance is strictly a matter between me and myself, or between me and G-d — the likes of introspection, resolution and renewal — probably most of us have already traveled this route. We know its difficulties and rewards. If repentance is a matter of fixing our relationships with other people, then we know that drill, too. This does not make it any easier, but the idea is clear. What if, however, repentance is something else? Rabbi Chaim Walkin sets forth a larger and different context...
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What’s the question?

What’s the question?THIS week’s Torah portion opens with a very beautiful passage about first fruits. The Torah predicts that the Israelites will be successful in conquering, settling and farming the Land of Israel, and obligates them to bring a portion of their first fruits as an offering to G-d. It also obligates them to make a statement upon presenting these fruits. Part of this statement may be familiar from the Passover Haggadah — the part about the Aramean trying to destroy our forefather. In reading th...
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What is the worth of a theoretical teaching?

What is the worth of a theoretical teaching?IT’S odd. Judaism’s basic book, the Torah, is known for specifics. Laws. Practices. Details. Moral examples. Role models. Pathways to godliness. Yet, in a few instances, these laws or teachings are strictly theoretical. They never have been applied and never will be. Why should the Torah present a strictly theoretical teaching? Perhaps the most famous case is also, perhaps, the most interpreted passage in all of Scripture: the binding of Isaac, in the 22nd chapter of Genesis. G-d never inte...
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The late Mrs. Lila Silberstein

I pen this with tears. I have never been one to “celebrate the life.” Death is death. Deep loss. Never to be replaced. Perhaps the sharpest stabs come from the pictures seemingly on every available surface in the apartment of my late mother-in-law, Mrs. Lila Silberstein, about whom I received the call at about 4:30 a.m., Aug. 19, “it’s all over.” These pictures are all doubled, so to speak, pictures of who is there, silently hiding the pictures of who isn’t there. Pictures of child...
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