1/2 September 2023, 16 Elul 5783

It’s interesting watching Luis Rubiales, Spain’s Football Association Chief, resist making a fulsome apology for kissing the Spanish player, Jenni Hermoso, on the lips as he congratulated the team’s win at the World Cup. His team, FIFA and indeed the whole world wait and watch for his real apology. This moment sparked outrage after their win against England’s Lionesses. Hermoso explained she felt vulnerable and the victim of machismo aggression. In turn, Rubiales spoke of false feminism and social assignation.

As we approach our season of atonement and making amends, seeing such public situations play out only adds piquancy to the challenge of truly making amends. Maimonides, whose five step processes of atonement informs Judaism’s understanding of apology, said the first stage is properly owning your mistake and failure. Owning the harm. The second is beginning to change; the third, making amends; only then followed by apologising and going on to make different choices.

There is always so much to learn from others making mistakes on the global stage, but even more so how they respond to and manage such failures.

Shabbat Shalom,