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Are You Really Sorry?

Sukkot starts in just a few hours and our sukkah is ready and everyone is excited for the holiday. But, before we get to that, I want to share a thought with you that I had over Yom Kippur. It was only a few days ago and we can so easily forget our insights and lose our inspiration in the melee of whatever comes next.

On Yom Kippur we say “sorry” to Gd for not working on our relationship with Him, and sorry for not making an effort to improve the relationship. Then we say it again and again and again. In the middle of all the chest beating I became aware that not only was I saying sorry repeatedly this year, I was saying sorry for all the same things that I said sorry for last year!

I realized that when people apologize (to Gd or to their spouses), what is that they are sorry for? They are sorry for getting caught, they are sorry for messing up or they are sorry for their own lost opportunity. That is why they can go ahead and do the same things over and over again, as long as they relate to their mistake only as their own problem, they will do it again.

When we say sorry, we are supposed to be saying sorry because we hurt the other person. We are supposed to be sorry that we hurt the person that we have committed to loving, protecting and caring for. I am sorry that you are hurting and that it is my fault.

Only if we understand the hurt that the other person is feeling and are able to empathize and sympathize with them are we able to have confidence that we will not be back in the same place next year.

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