Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I had a fight with someone and we have not spoken for two months.
We had been close friends but over time had drifted apart as we each
got into a strong relationship with someone who did not like the friend.
Neither of us talked about it at the time, and we still met for the
occasional lunch, at committee meetings, etc. But our interactions
dwindled as they became less and less personal. The last time I saw
her she asked, “Are you still with Old Mr. Grumpy?” She may have
thought she was being funny but because of the prior history things
quickly escalated into mutual unpleasantness. We both ended with,
“Call me when you’re ready to apologize!” I am not missing her in my
life. But we are bound to bump into one another at the High Holidays.
Do I have to go through the whole atonement ritual?
Dear Still Annoyed:
Yes. And all the more reason to do it because you have the perfect
occasion to do so. The High Holidays are meant to be a time of soul
searching and cleaning the slate. That’s part of the ten-day pause
between being written into the book of life and having your name
sealed in. Time to do your emotional homework and to make amends,
or at a minimum apologies.
No one makes it a full year without doing or saying something they
need to apologize for. Most of us have far more to make atonement for
than we could ever accomplish, even if we remembered all the unkind
things we had done. Denial is a reliable way of avoiding that moral
responsibility but, ironically, you don’t even have that slender pillar to
hide behind. You’re very aware that you were at fault, even if you try
to say, “She started it!” Behave like adults, not playground children or
squabbling politicians. Seek her out, wish her Shanah tovah!, and say
I’m sorry we both acted like jerks. Can we do lunch when the hubbub
dies down? Then call and invite her to lunch, as opposed to saying,
Well she hasn’t called me! When you connect keep it civil but strive to
be more personal. A good friendship is a terrible thing to waste or