Each year for Yom Kippur, we bring you a special episode all about apology and atonement. (Listen to our previous episodes: from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.) This year, we’re focusing on the theme of reconciliation—across the political divide and the religious spectrum, and beyond.
Our first story comes from Chris Haugh and Jordan Blashek, two friends who decided to drive across the country together in 2016. Chris, a Berkeley born, Obama-loving liberal, and Jordan, a former marine and proud conservative, were forced to confront their vast political differences as the presidential campaign unfolded around them across the United States. You can read the full story of this and their subsequent cross-country drives in their new book, Union: A Democrat, A Republican, and a Search for Common Ground.
Next we talk to Tablet columnist Marjorie Ingall, whose website (and soon to be book) SorryWatch.com chronicles the good, the bad, and the ugly of public apologies. She reminds us how to apologize (there are six steps!), helps us interpret corporate apologies in a year full of them, and reminds us that forgiveness isn’t mandatory.
Then we hear from Jericho Vincent, author of the 2014 memoir Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood, which tells the painful and traumatic story of leaving Orthodox Judaism as a teen. Since then, Jericho has been on a long and winding spiritual journey, exploring Buddhism, Sufi Islam, scientific atheism, and ultimately creating an entirely new conception of Judaism—and starting in a rabbinical program. This summer, Jericho struck up a correspondence with Orthodox writer and educator Dovid Bashevkin, whose book Sin•a•gogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought covers many of the areas that have long fascinated Jericho. Jericho and Dovid tell us what their ongoing conversations—about everything from Jewish texts to the ongoing social and political unrest in America—can teach us about reconciliation and rebuilding in today’s stratified world.
Finally, our associate editor Robert Scaramuccia tells the story of an offhand joke he made as a teenager at the Boys State summer camp, and how it has haunted (and helped) him ever since. Robert brings us along on his quest to apologize for what he said—once he figures out what exactly that was.
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