I can’t remember the last time I made a meaningful apology to someone.

I must be a great tzaddik who never does anyone harm.

I hate empty ritual. I hate it when someone says, "If I have done anything bad to you over the past year, please forgive me."

I loathe that! It’s so empty. If you have done something bad to me, then name it and make amends. Otherwise, spare me these empty offerings.

The last time I tried to mend something, I asked a rabbi to talk to him. He had given this talk on the importance of seeking out those we have a problem with and try to talk the matter out. This rabbi was always complaining about me. Another rabbi pushed me to apologize to him for a critical thing I had written. So I sought the bloke out and he flat out lied. He said he had no problem with me.

And that was that.

PS. I often encounter in Orthodox Jewish life the notion that our learning of Torah will help someone’s recovery from illness. Rabbis will often say something like, "We’re going to learn this Mishna so that Miriam Bat Sheva will have a refush shlemeh."

How come we never do that on behalf of paraplegics? How come God never heals paraplegics? He must really hate them.

Oy, how I hate empty pious words. I hate all the signs up for fighting "hunger" in Los Angeles. There is no hunger in Los Angeles. People may not always be able to eat what they want, they may have to eat cereal three times a day, but there’s no malnutrition in Los Angeles.

Imagine if these do-gooders had to be accurate in their wording? It would go something like this: "Please join our campaign so that poor people can have a greater variety of canned goods. Many of them sick of our offerings of beans and rice."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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