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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.

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