The Hardest Word vs. the Easiest Word

hardest1Let’s imagine that you were a huge, clumsy, well-meaning but not very sophisticated bird…a Ziz, a creature from Jewish mythology. You accidentally destroy a children’s garden and don’t know what to do about it. Your creator-God- advises you to go searching for the hardest word to make it right and you find all sorts of words that are difficult to spell or to pronounce. But none of these words is the one that God says is the hardest word. Finally in frustration you call out” I’m sorry.”

Yes, I’m sorry is the hardest word according to this children’s story, one of several by Jacqueline Jules featuring the Ziz. Indeed, many of us do find it very difficult to apologize because we think we are right, because apologizing may look like a sign of weakness, because we are afraid of the reaction we might get, or because we don’t think we have the right words.

Any words are the right words when they are sincere. So to all those whom I have inadvertently been impatient with, whose emails or phone calls I’ve failed to return, whose feelings I may have hurt, who may have felt overlooked or slighted, or to whom I failed to say thank you often enough, please forgive me.

sorry2It’s so much easier to say thank you! So thank you to everyone who has helped in the kitchen with cooking, cleaning, or shopping. Thank you for the suggestions for Kiddush ideas. Thank you for putting forth your best effort. Thank you for stepping in after Kiddush to help our hard-working custodians. So many of you have stepped up to help when needed. An extra thank you goes to Carney Mimms who took on the co-coordinator responsibility and to Beryl Hiller, organizer extraordinaire. Lastly, I have to thank my husband Marc who week after week washes those grungy dish towels.

And a special thank you goes to those who have helped in the library as we undertake the gargantuan job of computerizing the library and to everyone who has provided financial support for our member-supported library.

All that time and effort add up and helps to make Shomrei a place where people linger on a Shabbat afternoon and look for the latest books of Jewish interest. The energy is palpable and it wouldn’t happen without YOU.

Art of T’Shuvah
Balsley, I’m Sorry, Grover (J)
Buehner, I Did It; I’m Sorry (J)
Hoffman, We Have Sinned
Jules, The Hardest Word (J)
Schimmel, Wounds Not Healed by Time
Sidman, This is Just to Say: poems of apology and forgiveness (J)


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Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg, a professional librarian, is a long-time congregant and serves as volunteer librarian for Shomrei's Lampert Library. The library, one of the best-kept secrets at Shomrei is used by the Rabbi, congregants, students and teachers of the JLC (Hebrew School) and Preschool. It's a tremendous resource completely supported by your donations and gifts. Aileen also heads the Shomrei Caterers, the in-house food preparation group. Can there be any better combination…good food and good books!
Aileen Grossberg

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One thought on “The Hardest Word vs. the Easiest Word

  1. Love this Aileen! Thank you for sharing this. It inspired me to purchase the Ziz book for our home library. Thank you so much! You inspire this family not just to read but to read well :-)

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