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Days of Awe: A bookseller asks forgiveness from his customers

כי נפלתי קמתי

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

At the entrance to an Or Hachaim bookstore branch in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, I received a reminder of what the Days of Awe are all about. Moshe Kirschner, originally from the United Kingdom, recently began working there and felt that he had been impatient with some customers. Therefore he hung a sign at the entrance to his store that reads as follows:

"Due to the many responsibilities and much hard work demanded by my new job here in Har Nof, I have been under a lot of pressure. I showed impatience with several customers and I wanted to ask for their forgiveness. I invite anyone I hurt to come into the store so I can personally ask for their forgiveness in a proper way. I will endeavor to change from the depths of my heart so this does not happen again. And I hereby wish that everyone should be immediately inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life."

Moshe relates that people are now coming into the store to talk about the sign, but not to seek an apology. They compliment him on his attitude and also on the sign's title: "Ki nafalti -- kamti," meaning "Had I not fallen, I could not have risen (to new heights)." Everyone falls, but doing so allows us to rise up even higher than before.

I thought to myself that Moshe the bookseller deserves to be acknowledged for teaching us the meaning of the Days of Awe.


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