A rabbi explores how to repent and repair harm personally and as a collective

Americans often expect people to forgive and forget quickly after they have made a mistake, according to Rabbi Dayna Ruttenberg.

book cover for "On Repentance and Repair: making amends in an unapologetic world" by Dayna Ruttenberg

Apologies are hard. It’s not fun to admit wrongdoing and commit to a different set of actions. American representatives and presidents, particularly, rarely apologize while holding office. But that’s not for lack of mistakes that American leaders have made recently or deeper in the country’s collective past.

Other countries expect their leaders to apologize for mistakes the country has made currently or in the past. Why are Americans often against offering apologies and repenting for their actions? And, what does a better apology and repentance look like?

“When we refuse to deal with our problems, we keep repeating them. We go from slavery to lynching to redlining to Jim Crow to mass incarceration to voter suppression. It is the same harms again and again.” — Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author


Listen: Why it’s important for people to repent, apologize and repair the harm they create.

 


Guest

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is an award-winning author and writer. Her latest book is “On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World.” She says personally and collectively, Americans must do the work of repentance and repair or they will repeat the same mistakes.

“When we refuse to deal with our problems, we keep repeating them. We go from slavery to lynching to redlining to Jim Crow to mass incarceration to voter suppression. It is the same harms again and again,” says Ruttenberg.

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