By Jewish tradition, these are the days to ask forgiveness of those we have wronged over the past year. It is an opportunity to apologize, at a time when we can hope that those we have wronged will be especially open and receptive to expressions of regret and to honest acknowledgments of having failed and injured and offended others.
In the course of writing the pieces that occupy this space, I recognize that I have caused offense to many. I ask their forgiveness. I recognize that even the name of this space causes offense to a considerable number, some for religious reasons, some for reasons of patriotism. I ask their forgiveness as well.
I ask forgiveness, then, for adding to the conflict in this world. I ask forgiveness for orchestrating anger. I ask forgiveness for lack of compassion in addressing those with whom I disagree. I ask forgiveness for manipulating emotions, for failing to demonstrate respect, for selectivity in recognizing pain, and in blindness to good intentions which differ from my own.
I ask forgiveness for allowing the meanness in me, the evil inclination in me, the wicked streak in me, to ridicule, hound, and bury the good.
I ask that readers forgive me my excesses.
I invite our readers to take this opportunity, and offer apologies of their own.
The guiding principles of the talkback forum for this article will be mutual respect and openness to dialogue. Participants, even if they rule out, dismiss or oppose coexistence, must, within the confines of this forum, practice it.
Censorship will be unapologetic.
Political orientation will have absolutely no bearing on whether a comment is posted or rejected.
The following will be grounds for deletion:
1. Racist remarks, as well as slurs on the basis of religion, ethnicity and gender. 2. Use of the terms Nazi, Hitler, to describe the actions and policies of Israelis, Palestinians or other parties to the Israel-Arab conflict. 3. Disparaging remarks, personal attacks, vulgarities and profanities directed at other participants in the forum. 4. Advocacy of violence against individuals or religious, ethnic or racial groups, including statements which may be construed as urging attacks on leaders, officials, security forces or civilians.
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