Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sorry is a hard word...

Tomorrow night, Yom Kippur starts. The holiest day in the Jewish year.

We are meant to spend the 10 days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur reflecting and repenting, preparing to start the new year with a "clean slate." Then on Yom Kippur, it is believed that the gates of heaven stand wide open, our prayers going directly to God.

For anyone, this day can weigh heavily and be hard to grasp, but for children it can be even harder. The prayers we say paint a dyer picture, one prayer in particular lists the ways we can perish each year. Hard stuff to swallow!

With my class, I felt it was more important to talk about what it really means to ask for forgiveness . We talked about why we do it, how we should do it, and how we should mean what we are asking forgiveness for.

I gave them a simple prompt after our discussion. I told them to sit, think, then write.

They blew me away...

Why is it so hard to say "I'm sorry?"
"you don't want to admit what you did was wrong because you do not want to get in trouble"
"it is hard to say sorry because if you do something bad and you say sorry the other person might not except it"
"you might have done something wrong and not meant to, so it's hard to say that you did something wrong by saying sorry"
"if you do something bad and you're scared to say sorry it can be a hard word for you to say."
"you're angry and you say sorry but it can be hard because maybe you're so angry you don't care but you might be a little sorry inside yourself"
"you're angry and you just can't say sorry, it's hard to admit you were being bad"

I was speechless. They really got it. These amazing little souls have helped me prepare to start Yom Kippur tomorrow night in ways that I could never have imagined.

May we be sealed for a good year, may we forgive each other's transgressions, and move forward into the new year with a clean slate and a pure soul.
G'mar chatimah tova

11 thoughts on the matter:

Nancy said... {Reply}

What an awesome exercise and I love their thoughts. :)

Pride In Photos said... {Reply}

It should be a practice that all humans should put into their lifes. Sorry shouldn't be the hardest word.

Kim Cunningham said... {Reply}

I love that kids are being taught to repent and ask for forgiveness. Saying sorry is hard for adults. I think making reflection a practice as a child would make it easier to admit weaknesses as an adult. I think it is equally important to teach our kids to offer forgiveness right back to those who offend us. That's hard sometimes, too!

Great job, Teach!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

such great thoughts by your students. I hope my kids learn this concept so well!

Nancy said... {Reply}

How wonderful that these children are being taught the words " I am sorry" at a young age. It will make such a difference as they grew and have a deeper understanding of forgiving and being forgiven...

Certainly, we can all take a lesson from your post...

tiarastantrums said... {Reply}

this is so easy for Christians as we repent everyday! My kids are in awe that your religion(and others) only call for certain days of atonement. Enjoy your high holiday!

Renae of Simple Sequins said... {Reply}

Oh that is so sweet. I think I have felt all of those statements in my life when I have to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Seeeeeeee, you ARE an amazing teacher!

Thank you for your nice compliments to me.

Have wonderful and sacred events.

Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said... {Reply}

I love learning about your traditions & the things you do. I love getting a better understanding of it all & it's great that you share it. I feel more connected to you. Plus when my family says "what's ___?" I can tell them instead of saying "go Google it". You are right- sorry is the hardest word. I always think of the old Elton John song- it's one of my favorites & so deep. It all can be so hard when it comes to feelings- especially as kids. But sometimes they get it more than we think they do. I have never tried to sugar coat anything for the kids & with the hubs doing what he does- mortality & the reality of things is in their face all the time. They have a pretty good grip on things as a result.

tinajo said... {Reply}

Ah, kids - they do have a way of nailing it, don´t they?! :-)

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

Out of the mouths of babes! They are so wise!!! Great post and wishing you a peaceful You Kippur!

Nicole Bryce-Sharron said... {Reply}

Such heartfelt word from those so young