On the eve of the Day of Atonement, Ynet invited its readers to reveal whom they are apologizing to, from who they want an apology and for what transgressions. A mosaic of small sins and great failures was created.
“Sorry mom. I'm sorry that I am concealing your true son from you,” said a Kfar Saba resident. “Sorry I don’t share the happy things with you or hide the sadness and difficulty that I want to share with you.
“Sorry that I don’t have the courage to say, ‘Mom, this is what I am,’ and hug you. Sorry that I lie, deceive and distort the truth to prevent you from worrying, suspecting.
“I apologize for the pain I am likely to bestow upon you, the tears and the ravaged, sleepless nights. Sorry for the forever piercing thought, ‘My son is gay,’ and for the self-scrutiny of 'where did I go wrong? Maybe I didn’t raise my son properly?' Sorry for the shame, mine and yours. Sorry that we live next to each and a wall separates us; that I am masked. Sorry that I am a coward. Sorry. Love, your son.”
PoliticsAnother reader from Kfar Saba said, “I will not forgive those...who hate Jews just because they are Jews, except if they ask for forgiveness and mean it.”
Aladdin from Carmiel wrote: “I will never forgive the politicians who steal the country’s funds and the 10 richest families who trample on the bodies of the woeful citizens in order to get a little bit richer.”
Mira Marcosfeld from Tel Aviv: “I don’t forgive the stupidity of two laws. The first is the law obligating malls to be guarded (storeowners pay for the security company); and the second allowing storeowners to cover their shop windows and transform their stores into residence, storehouses, casinos, brothels and even illegal weapons warehouses…”
Yoni Kraus from Tel Aviv regrets his choice at the ballot box: “Out of ignorance, laziness and going with the flow, I voted Kadima and brought Israel’s demise closer. I will not repeat that mistake this year and I hope to fix it and receive definitive forgiveness.”
Tom from the northern Israel joined the bandwagon: “I am sorry that I voted Kadima, really sorry!"
There are still people who carry the weight of the Gush Katif evacuation. Einat Danino from the Nitzan cara-villa (mobile home) site requested forgiveness from the Neve Dekalim settlement from which she was evacuated: “For leaving it, for abandoning it, I ask it to forgive me and my nation for this act of destruction.”
James Hatfield of Tel Aviv apologized to “Gush Katif evacuees, who are still thrown in some bullpen called ‘cara-villot’ (mobile homes)…Yeah I know that you don’t really want to hear about the Gush Katif evacuees, why would we contaminate the atmosphere? Know that their souls are still bleeding."
Shai from Even Yehuda wrote, “I am in the 12th grade and am preparing for my mission to Poland. Without being too wordy…I want to ask forgiveness from the Holocaust survivors and from those who did not survive.
“Not a personal pardon, because I did not lend a hand to these hostile acts. But, I want to ask forgiveness in the name of the country which is supposed to praise and glorify them and instead causes them to live under the poverty line. This is spine-chilling. Sorry.”
On the same token, Or Argaz from Kiryat Motzkin wrote, “On Yom Kippur I will dedicate the biggest apology to the people, who more than anything, dreamed of an independent country… An independent country which was to eventually be the irrefutable evidence of the biggest victory over the oppressor.
“These are elderly people who have little ability left. They were truly humiliated, and this time not by those wearing the Nazi symbol but rather by those who Hebrew rolls off their tongues and have a yarmulke glued on to their heads; members of our government.
“Following the chilling horrors that they physically endured, the Holocaust survivors who withstood the horrors of death and torture in Nazi Europe, arrived here in order to create a family; continuity for the next generations.
“Today, if you knock twice on your neighbor’s door you will discover an old man covered in a thick wool blanket with a package of sugar at his side in preparation for whatever comes his way. This is the same old man that the country abandoned for dirty politics, or more important values than what the Holocaust survivors represent.
“My real forgiveness is asking their forgiveness for the days and nights in which they searched for residual vegetables in garbage cans; for the moments they thought that buying meat meant aiming too high and those same solitary moments that they searched for a listening ear and we all had time for our own things.”
Tomer finds great difficulty forgiving the democratic “watch dog:” I do not forgive the media for the irresponsibility it showed over the last years in many realms. The media knows what its power is and what the effect is…it weakened the country in the face of the enemies within.
“The media weakened the country in the Second Lebanon War and harmed the integrity of elections via Kadima (there should be no doubt about it, I don’t vote Kadima). I expect more responsibility and the guiding principle for the country should be the wellbeing of the country and not personal welfare and ratings.”
David from Kiryat Ono spoke of an astonishing experience and demands an apology: “One day this year I forgot my cell phone at home. At around 10 am I decided to go back home from Tel Aviv. When I entered my apartment I found my wife, the female neighbor from upstairs and the Filipino woman who worked for us, conducting lesbian relations; an unimaginable Ménage à trios.
“Is this forgivable? Even though I continue to get enjoyment from this story once a week, I still feel betrayed and I still haven’t received an apology until this very day.”
Eyal Weiss from Tel Aviv: “I will never forgive the girl I met on the internet who lied to me about her identity and about a million other things and caused me to fall in love with her and who never met with me or told me the truth about who she was. I will never forgive her.”
A. D. from Tel Aviv is actually asking forgiveness for loving: “S. my dear, two years have passed. Two years of inconstancy, two years of many surprising occurrences, two years of contemplations and mainly two years of absence.
“Only now am I able to ask your forgiveness. I should have asked a long time ago, but I didn’t have the courage. The same fear that accompanied me from the day I fell in love with you without the ability to control my feelings and until the day we broke up definitively, the same fear prevented me from asking your forgiveness until now.”
Rose, nobody’s girl
Yakir Dasa from Tel Aviv asked forgiveness from Rose Pizem who was murdered, thrown into the muddy Yarkon River and buried in France: “I am sorry about your tragic and unnecessary murder, sorry that you are no longer, sorry! You are nobody’s girl.
Another reader wrote about the young girl: “A big girl is asking forgiveness from small Rose, from the rest of the kids in Israel who wake up every day to a grim reality; a reality of fear and terror.
“The story of little Rose turned me upside down. I looked into the eyes of the small girl in the picture and saw her pain. It threw me back to those days in which I would sit in my bed crunched up, waiting for it all to end.
“That threatened look, that familiar look. Different story, same look…a girl’s empty gaze that everyone worked so hard not to see. Children live in hell and they don’t have the words to explain to themselves and to the world what is happening to them.
“These types of things happen. They happen too often. But it is better if we shut up. If we shut up it won’t happen. If we just open our eyes we can see them, these lost children. So maybe it’s better to shut our eyes. Why should we see? No one knows until it reaches the newspapers. It usually doesn’t reach the newspapers because they are big and we are small.
“Family is sacred, it is safe and secure…someone to guard you. Knowing is dirty, dirty. So it is preferable not to know. And who needs this dirt? They don’t want to know, they plug their ears and shut their eyes…and wait. Then they ask how something like this can happen and where did we go wrong and everyone is shaken but two days pass and it passes...until the next newspaper headline. Sorry from all of us.”
This year too, many people chose to mention kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. "There is one Israeli citizen who deserves all of our apologies,” wrote a reader.
“One citizen who put his life on the line so that we could eat our holiday meals around the table and celebrate our grandchildren’s birthdays, regularly follow one of the reality shows that went on the air, go out to a new bar that opened at the end of our street and mainly so that we can sleep soundly.
“On a day like today we can’t blame those sitting atop anymore, those who deal with one type of envelope or another, who deal with the new elections of old leaders, who contend with Shas’ budget in order to form a coalition and who mainly deal with cushioning themselves on a chair.
“True, they have the means to move things, they can sit at the negotiation table with the right people, but we are the ones who need our screaming voices heard! We need to scream about the fact that nothing has been done in order to bring Gilad Shalit back home. We are going on with our lives as if nothing happened.
“We go to work, eat, sleep and go abroad with no conscience, because these are our lives. But are we all so inhumane? Yeah, we are the small citizens, but without us the country will not exist, it doesn’t matter how much those atop will be cushioned. We need to go out into the streets, to strike and show our leaders and the rest of the world that Israeli citizens have the power to bring Gilad back home. People, wake up!”
Another reader, Lior, said: “I want to ask forgiveness from the person who gave me my life, my mother. Most of my life I caused her pain and sorrow and I want to ask for her forgiveness for something bad that I did. I hope that one day it will work out. I am asking for forgiveness.”
A regretful teenage girl wrote about her bad behavior: “I apologize to my parents for causing them a difficult year, I am sorry that my adolescence is more difficult than those of my older siblings.
“I am sorry that I am so rebellious. Really! I have this urge every time you talk to say ‘No! I don’t agree!’ Sorry for the screams you had to scream at me, that I caused scenes and guilty feelings that I am an ingrate and not always so nice. I love you and hope that I will mature a little this year…have a much better year than the previous ones.”
Sorry for being me
Under the headline, “the simple man’s apology” written by Afargan from Haifa, the following apologies appeared.
“For all those unnecessary smoke clouds that second-hand smokers had to breathe in because of me at those moments I needed air; for all those pieces of gum needed after the cigarette, those I threw out of the window when no one was looking.
“I beg the pardon of my downstairs neighbor for the music that mainly rumbles within my walls, and silently harms her; sorry that I wasn’t romantic enough; My apologies to all those songs that didn’t touch me, to the movies that didn’t make me cry; sorry to the little green man (like the ‘walk’ and ‘don’t walk’ crosswalk signs), the one who gives you permission to cross safely, it is not a good enough excuse to admit that I am the hurrying type.
“Sorry to those people who forgave my winning smile when I arrived late; sorry for the times in which I didn’t put myself in other people’s shoes, not in the pressing shoes of the tired supermarket cashier, or the one at Super-Pharm (pharmacy) – maybe if I would have done so once in a while, I would have been aware of the worthwhile deals.
“I apologize for not writing warm greetings at all the recent weddings in which I danced. After ‘Rami and Rita’ (famous singing couple) split all the magical vows shattered and my greetings began to shrivel.
"Sorry to the beach, I would have visited you more if you would have made me miss you; to the moon on the nights in which I worked too hard on projects that weren’t even mine and forgot to look for your light.
“I ask forgiveness from the sun for not being careful enough in its presence. I am sorry if I forgot the power of words, the power of small and lowly words and words that once I threw out into the atmosphere caused me to need a cigarette.”
Nadav Selent provided a revolutionary suggestion: "Instead of people asking forgiveness from one another once a year, maybe we’ll act like human beings throughout the entire year.
“If we succeed in respectfully treating our fellow men just as we would want people to treat us, maybe we won’t need a special day to ask for forgiveness.
“So at least from me: Sorry to those I hurt…and didn’t ask their immediate forgiveness. I am full of hope that there aren’t a lot of them because if there are, I wasn’t successful in upholding the standards I set for myself and for others.”