It’s the time of year for apologies, but not everyone has forgiveness on their mind. An argument for not saying sorry until God does.
And so we arrive, once again, at that hallowed time of the year when man bows his head to the Lord, trembling in fear, pounding his chest in regret and sorrow while tearfully begging absolution and mercy from the Creator of the Universe. This is a time for admission, for contrition. A time for swinging a chicken—or cock, as the English say—around your head. (No other hook-nosed creature, not even Jews, has suffered as much throughout history as have chickens.) It is a time for an honest taking stock of oneself—one’s failings, one’s sins, one’s mistakes, one’s errors. With one notable exception:
God murders, God kills, God takes revenge, God, by his own admission, is a jealous God. God turns his head. But God doesn’t apologize. Not for war, not for disease, not for Ashton Kutcher, not for anything. We’ve been apologizing to him for years, and—nothing. Not a peep. Not a whoops, not a sorry, not a “My Bad on the whole Hitler thing.” So, seriously: No more apologies. I’m not apologizing for anything (and I say this over a breakfast of a bacon-and-egg sandwich), not for one more goddamn thing until he does, and I think all Jews, all over the world, ought to unite at last and join me: No apologies. No sorrows. Not this year.
It’s God’s turn:
O Mankind, son of your fathers and your fathers’ fathers, let My prayers come before you, and do not hide yourself from My supplication. O Mankind, I am not so arrogant nor so hardened to say, “I am righteous and have not sinned.” For truly I have sinned. I have turned away from you, and I have done evil in your sight.
(God should bend forward at the waist here and upon reciting each sin pound his chest with his fist.)
For the sins I committed against you with diseases of the body, and for the sins I committed against you with diseases of the mind.
For the sins committed by murdering your parents, and for the sins I committed by murdering your children.
For cancer and for AIDS and for heart disease and for emphysema and for Alzheimer’s and for Parkinson’s. For regular leukemia, and for childhood leukemia.
For the commandments I gave you that I don’t even adhere to myself.
For erectile dysfunction.
For premenstrual syndrome.
For aging, for time, for mortality.
For Miley Cyrus.
For all the Cyruses.
For YA vampire novels.
For lynchings and gassings and mass graves and medical experiments and being burned alive.
For broken hearts. For loneliness. For divorce and for dysfunction.
For making it so damned hard.
For judging you, damning you, condemning you, without ever having been for even a brief moment in your soiled, mortal shoes.
For the whole circumcision thing.
For turning my head.
For calling homosexuality an abomination. (I’d just been dumped by my boyfriend.)
For the enduring lies and the broken promises.
For the unanswered prayers and the unanswered questions.
For all those notes in the wall I never read.
For Facebook and for MySpace.
And for Ashton fucking Kutcher.
For all these things, Mankind,
(Perfect. Now go swing a cock around your head.)
A late-night mistake, a ruptured college friendship, and a Yom Kippur apology. Atonement can make things better, if not quite fix them.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.