Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Sorry. Really.

Some time ago, during my former life as a pulpit rabbi, I gave a sermon about the importance of hair-covering, pr some such hot-button topic. I don't remember exactly. I knew that the membership was divided on the issue - but that didn't often stop me from speaking out. Anyway, for some reason I was pointed to the blog post of a member of mine, who wrote about me both critically and incorrectly. I must admit that it was a very painful experience, to be attacked by someone who you considered a friend, albeit anonymously. It still kind of stings.
The amazing publicity and literally global reach of the internet is also its greatest danger. The same blog that can promote Torah, shiurim, and Religious Zionism around the world can also carry words that inflict harm and cause pain.
I write with a strong sense of awareness of this fact. So, I make a very concerted effort on my blog (and anywhere I write) to speak with civility, refrain from personal attack, and promote ideas and values that I hold dear. Sometimes my positions and opinions might upset the reader, but I hope that it's because he or she disagrees (which is healthy) even passionately, and not because they consider themselves insulted or maligned.
So, if I've written (or said in a shiur) something during the past year that was personally hurtful and insulting, I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.
It seems like the right thing to do this time of year. After all, Yom Kippur's the day after tomorrow.