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Barbara Lombardo writes about journalisml, local news and anything else that strikes her fancy. She is executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News, sister papers in the Digital First Media family. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yom Kippur is about saying you're sorry -- and meaning it



Sundown Tuesday begins the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, a holy day traditionally observed with a 24-hour fast and day of prayer.
To those whose religions call for weekly confessions, it may sound sweet to bundle a year’s worth of transgressions into one marathon apology. But it isn’t enough to just ask God for forgiveness, along with promises to be a better person. I was taught, growing up in an observant family, that one should also be asking the forgiveness of those who were wronged.
Sins large and small fall into that category. I truly feel bad if I have hurt someone’s feelings, purposely or even inadvertently. Hurting people is an occupational hazard, wearing any one of my hats, as journalist, manager, teacher, spouse, parent, sibling, adult child, and recipient of telemarketing calls. Not being a saint, I’ve had my mean moments, though they are relatively few and far between.
This blog may not count in God’s accounting of deeds, but I’m publicly offering this blanket apology to those who’ve crossed my path and found me cross, thoughtless or unkind.
My father instilled in me his Rule No. 1 in life: Treat people the way you want to be treated.
I will be spending Yom Kippur with him, and I will let him know that the Golden Rule continues to guide my life.
His Rule No. 2, however, is equally useful for when the first one doesn’t achieve the desired respect, understanding or empathy. To paraphrase: To heck with ’em if they can’t take a joke.

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