“The mechanics of good apologies aren’t difficult. The 12th-century sage Maimonides said that true repentance requires humility, remorse, forbearance , and reparation. Not much has changed since then. Basically, you have to take ownership of the offense, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Name your sin, even if it makes you squirm. Use the first person, and avoid passive voice (‘I’m sorry I kicked your Pomeranian,’ not ‘I’m sorry your dog got hurt,’ or worse, ‘I’m sorry it was impossible to ignore the incessant yapping of your undersocialized little hellbeast’). Acknowledge the impact of what you did. (‘My lateness was disrespectful of your time and inconvenienced you on what I know was a busy day.’) Be real, open and non-defensive. (‘What I said was moronic and mean, and I’m ashamed of myself.’) Offer a teeny bit of explanation if it’s relevant, but keep it short and—this is key—don’t use it as justification for your actions. (‘I was tired and crabby because I had to work late, but that’s no excuse for taking it out on you.’)”
Source: Marjorie Ingall, “How to Say You’re Sorry,” Tablet magazine
Every Friday morning My Machberet presents an assortment of Jewish-interest links, primarily of the literary variety.
A gorgeous meditation for the Days of Awe by Richard Chess.
Etgar Keret explains why Yom Kippur is his favorite holiday (translation by Sondra Silverston).
Irving Kristol’s only published short story, re-published on Mosaic this week, features an post-World War II encounter in France between an American Jewish GI and an Auschwitz survivor.
Have you perused the amazing collection of archived summary-reviews of major works of American Jewish fiction over on the Fig Tree Books website?
Last, but by no means least: David (D.G.) Myers, whose many areas of expertise included Jewish literature, passed away last Friday. Please take a few moments to read through some tributes to him.
Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen
Shabbat shalom, and an easy/meaningful fast to all who will be observing the Yom Kippur holiday.
Between Rosh Hashanah celebrations/family time and the challenges of a nasty cold, I haven’t been quite so productive, writing-wise, this past week. Things are continuing to hum along at work at Fig Tree Books, so that’s very nice. I received my contributor’s copy of the 2015 Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market in the mail this past week, too, and I’m glad to have it.
I also managed to send out the October issue of The Practicing Writer, which includes a Q&A with my gifted friend Sara Lippmann about her new story collection, Doll Palace. And yes, I’m already at work on the November issue, which will spotlight another very talented writer–John Vanderslice–and his new collection, Island Fog.
So, what’s new with all of you?
Monday brings the weekly batch of no-fee competitions/contests, paying submission calls, and jobs for those of us who write (especially those of us who write fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Continue reading ›