Ask Forgiveness Face-To-Face

From the Detroit Free Press:

The Jewish high holidays — which end today on Yom Kippur — are a time when many are called upon to repent and seek forgiveness from others.

But in a world where the Internet has increasingly become a way to communicate, some are replacing one-on-one apologies with Facebook and Twitter updates during the Jewish holy days.

That concerns Rabbi Jason Miller of Congregation T’chiyah in Oak Park, who sees some using the impersonal nature of the Web as a way to avoid real interaction.

He plans to talk about the issue today to his congregation during services on what is known as the Day of Atonement.

"We’ve lost the personal touch," said Miller, who also is the rabbi of Tamarack Camps in Michigan. "There should be an effort, a little challenge to go up to another person and seek forgiveness, to admit our wrongdoing."

Miller often uses social media himself and blogs at, but cautions against overdoing it.

He notes one Facebook update he got Friday morning from a person who wrote a generic note to several people at once, saying: "Whatever I said, I didn’t really mean it. Please forgive me. It won’t happen again."

The one-size-fits-all confession misses the mark in keeping with the spirit of repentance, Miller said.

About Luke Ford

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