The 10 Hardest Days Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 506

There’s a wonderful children’s book that I read to my grandchildren titled, The Hardest Word. It’s about a bird named Ziz, that flies high above various towns and swoops down to speak to the children. He instructs them to bring the hardest word. One says, “pisghetti”, (spaghetti), is the hardest word. Others bring back words like rhinoceros and Rumpelstiltskin, but none is acceptable. In the end, he discovers that the hardest words for them and all the townspeople are “I’m sorry.”

Laurel and I led worship services for the Jewish New Year this past Sunday and Monday. The theme of these holidays is renewal, rebirth but also resolve and commitment to repent for sins committed this past year as well as a vow not to repeat these missteps.

We are charged with asking forgiveness from one another, not through an intermediary, but by speaking directly to the ones we have wronged whether intentionally or accidentally. This is often a daunting task and one that many avoid. We have 10 days between the New Year and Yom Kippur, the official day of Atonement, in which introspection and owning up to our failures is the key to starting a new year with a clean slate.

In that vein, I’d like to take this opportunity to say I’m sorry if I’ve said or done anything hurtful towards you, my valued friends and clients, and I ask your forgiveness. I hope that this new year will be one for renewed friendships, family harmony and peace; at home, in your hearts and in a world that knows peace.

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