The Jewish High Holidays are upon us, and I am about to get real personal with you in this article. As we are in the 10 days of repentance, I feel I need to come clean about who I am and make things right with the people I have hurt this past year. More importantly, I need to be real with myself.
Being deployed to a war zone especially in Kandahar, Afghanistan not once but two long year deployments definitely has an effect on a person. Especially if they are not responsible in getting the help they need. I have committed many sins this past year which I am not proud of, but I feel I am ready to bring closure to this part of my life and have a more meaning full spiritual relationship with God and my family.
This past year in the Hebrew calendar of 5776 definitely has not been an easy one. It has been shy of three years since I was discharged from the Army, and four years from my last deployment. I have refused to get the counseling I needed. This was my own choice, which later had serious consequences related to my actions. I have been blessed with a new passion in opinion writing, and with the blessing as an Israeli correspondent. I am able to express my thoughts and concerns for the country of my birthplace, the United States, and the country where I reside now as its citizen, Israel.
I have been conservative for a long time and a decent family man, but the choice of not getting help started to take its toll. With my writing of late, I have started to gain a little bit of popularity which I never experienced growing up, and it got to my head. I had a seriously bad ego. In many of the post or tweets I started looking for fights in debates, having to get the last word. I always had to be right. U.S. elections came. I started to unfriend people on social media because of politics, and behaved in a non-conservative manner whether when I supported Cruz at the time, or presently supporting Trump. I was very unprofessional, cocky and had a bad attitude, and it didn’t stop there. I have been looking at things in a negative way, criticizing everything in life and not realizing the pressure it put on my wife and children and friends.
I haven’t been the best husband to my wife; I have made poor choices in not considering my wife’s feelings or to my kids. I have broken commitments, promises, and hurt feelings. Something a Jewish husband should not do.
This past year is also a year where I had never been held accountable before, until my wife and others found out about my wrong doings and held me accountable. Their intervention opened my eyes to what I was doing and the person I was becoming. I definitely have to thank my wife Leah for sticking by me and putting me in check. I also thank the others, as you know who you are. My response when my actions were brought into the light was in no way the sincere apology to those who I wronged, deserved. I finally realized that I am the one who did this harm, and now I need to do something about it.
This past month our family found a great Chabad community with a wonderful welcoming people and a wonderful rabbi. I have started going to services more frequently and working on my relationship with God. I have also started PTSD counseling as well as marriage counseling. I feel that having the blessing to defend Israel and the Jewish people, I need to do this with a pure soul. To have a pure soul I need to repent of my sins to God and to the people who I have hurt with much more effort. I want to make this Yom Kippur the most meaningful Yom Kippur I ever had which will include fasting. This experience has been incredibly humbling and made me realize, I am not a superhero, or a celebrity. I am nobody, but a concerned citizen of America and Israel with many faults.
Without further ado, I want to say to all who I have hurt. I am deeply truly sorry that my words and actions have hurt you, especially to my wife and children. I hope and pray one day I can earn your forgiveness, I am truly sorry.