This letter didn't make it in Elul or Tishrei but is
To all my friends, neighbors, acquaintances I meet in the
street, at shiurim, simchas, all the people whom I am
closely or loosely in contact with...
I apologize. I feel great remorse.
For what, you ask?
For all the things I've done against you. What terrible
things? I don't remember anything, you say.
But I remember. I know the times when I didn't say hello, I
didn't smile or even return your gaze. The times I didn't
judge you favorably or didn't offer to help when I saw you
I may have been tired, in a hurry, or just let my yetzer
hora take over.
I didn't come to your wedding or even visit you during your
shiva. I missed your Kiddush. I didn't send over a
cake. I didn't welcome you when you moved in or send you off
properly when you left. All those `you's' whom I would like
to be close to...
How could I not have thanked `you,' after all you did for me?
But I didn't, or only partially.
I didn't let `you' help when you so much wanted to. I never
explained all kinds of puzzling behavior, leaving you
Why haven't I been more friendly?
I wish I were a happier person, a stronger person, possessing
better conversational skills, to cheer you, comfort you, get
to know `you' better. I feel bad that I'm so shy, which makes
me ignore my obligations to you, and you, and you...
So many things I've done and shouldn't, or didn't and should
have. And the many things I was not aware of, except for a
feeling in the back of my mind.
Knowing myself, I know that I could have approached you Erev
Yom Tov and thanked you for your babysitting, lending me that
cup of sugar or mixer and doing me big and small favors, all
of you out there, collectively and individually, and wished
you a good year. Well, to some of you I did, but not
But I promise to try to improve, starting now. And this
letter, impersonal as it is, is my beginning of NOW. So --
please help me.
Dear Reader -- edit above letter, cross out, add your own
list, and implement.
Yes, we mean -- `YOU.'