The One Word That Can Change your Life

Preparing for Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

 In 2011, in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the Ten Days of Repentance and Yom Kippur 5772, the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks recorded a series of ten short videos, each reflecting on a particular theme or prayer pertinent to this special and spiritual period in the Jewish calendar.

These timeless messages are equally applicable as we enter any new year.

That’s the sound of selichot. Of saying sorry. The special prayers we say at this time of the year as we come close to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement. And there’s something so powerful about the ability to say sorry. Out there in secular society we live in a non penitential culture. When was the last time you heard a politician say, “I’m sorry”? Or a Rabbi, say, “I got it wrong”? Or a pundit say, “I made a mistake.” Yet we’re always getting things wrong. That’s what it is to be human.

So, to be able to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, forgive me,” is important. It’s a moment of honesty in a lifetime of keeping up appearances; of trying to look infallible. And I can say sorry to God because I know He forgives me. I know that because that’s the kind of God He is. That’s why He gave us Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

So try saying sorry to God. It might just help you, as it’s helped me, say sorry to the people I’ve hurt. Saying sorry is the superglue of interpersonal life. It mends relationships that would otherwise be broken beyond repair. You won’t be sorry that you said, “I’m sorry.”

Shanah Tovah.