September 2021

Mazel & Mishagoss: Love Means Never Having to Say, “I’m Sorry.” But Yom Kippur Doesn’t!


I grew up in a household where nobody asked for forgiveness. The closest we came was challenging family members to play the classic board game, Sorry, whooping their tushies, and then refusing to apologize for that as well. Luckily on Yom Kippur, God mercifully erases all the sins we’ve committed “before God” — but not necessarily the transgressions against our fellow man. Therefore, if we want 100 percent purity, we must atone to every individual who’s suffered on our behalf. However nowhere in the Ten Commandments (or Hasbro’s/Parker Brothers’ rule book) does it forbid apologizing to be done in the form of a magazine humor column. So, brace yourselves — I’m about to publicly “write” all my wrongs. Here we go.

To Marsha Grady in my 4th grade class: I’m sorry I kept throwing a football at your face in an effort to make you gasp and exclaim, “Oh, my nose!”

To Charlie, the awkward boy who asked me out: Please forgive breaking my date with you by simply uttering, “Something suddenly came up,” after Doug (the groovy high school quarterback!) suddenly took an interest in me.

To my brother, Randy: I’m sorry I recorded over the World Series with a weekend Brady Bunch marathon. I might’ve been slightly obsessed. Ya think?

To my father, Moe: I wasn’t honest with you in college when I claimed I ran off with a gentile because I needed to do research for my starring role of Chava in Fiddler on the Roof. The truth is, I couldn’t carry a note if it came inside a Marc Jacobs designer handbag, (Mind you, Mr. Jacobs IS Jewish, Dad!) so in reality the only part I was assigned to play in Fiddler on the Roof was that of Motel Kamzoil’s (the poor tailor’s) sewing machine. PS. The gentile had empathy and compassion for this confusing tale of woe, so I hope you’ll find some deep in your heart as well?

To Professor Norris at UCSD: I copied all the answers in your Cognitive Therapy class and then implemented what you taught us in Psych 101 to make you feel sufficiently guilty for suspecting me of cheating.

To Gene, my first ex-husband: I’m sorry for saying, “No wonder you turned out like you did” after I caught your mashugana mother shaving our newborn’s head while swearing some old Russian custom proves a razor blade (a razor blade on my baby’s velvety head!?!) makes hair grow in thicker. She also snuck one of our twins off to a wet-nurse (Again with the Russian customs!) because she said I was an “insufficient producer”–but since this is an apology, not an indictment, I’ll stop here.

To Ron, my second ex-husband: I’m sorry I submitted applications and headshots of you to audition for the reality show, The Bachelor (seasons 1-8) after we wed.

To Jeff, my new fiancé: I’m sorry the word “Fiancé” has that little accent mark over the letter “e” and I’m too lazy to figure out how to type it on my keyboard (Autocorrect keeps changing it to “finance”) so that’s how you’re referenced in my blogs. Oh! I’m also sorry you get referenced in my blogs so often.

To Mitchell, my eldest son: Please forgive my ruining the S’mores making contest at your Boy Scout campfire by devouring all the Hershey’s chocolate bars, then announcing to everyone that the official recipe actually just calls for plain roasted marshmallows on graham crackers . . . and these are called, “S’Less.”

To Eliza, my youngest daughter: I shouldn’t have shaved your head when you had that lice infestation. However, look on the bright side…your Grandmother guarantees your hair will grow back thicker.

To my readers: Please forgive this column. It will never happen again. That’s because next Yom Kippur, I’ll simply send out anonymous “I’m sorry!” notes with cute little rams’ horns on them, hand stamped, “From Your Secret Pal!” Trust me, God will pardon me for that little scam too … after I explain.


For the Love of Yiddish

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September 2021

How we Pray

By Rabbi-Cantor Cheri Weiss There are two primary modes of Jewish prayer. The first is known as Keva, which comes from the Hebrew ...