- If you are a teenager…if you are 13 to 19 years old, these words are for you:
...(B)ecause Yom Kippur is about asking forgiveness, and we want to ask yours. For underestimating you; for expecting too much of you. For not remembering what it’s like to be your age, or for not understanding that it’s different nowadays to be your age. For times when we talked too much, or were too busy to listen. For times when we weren’t around and you needed us. For times when we were short-tempered or short-sighted, or couldn’t manage to be the parents you needed us to be right then. For times when you were sad and we didn’t know how to help. For wanting you to be naches machines, whose success makes us feel better about our own lives. For not accepting you as you are. For our own failures of integrity, when we couldn’t live up to the behavior we ask of you.
Forgive us for being sentimental about you and worrying about you so much.
Believe us when we say we are trying to do our best. We know it isn’t always good enough.
And believe us when we say that even if you sometimes drive us crazy, we value and respect the very qualities that sometimes drive us crazy. Your ability to reason and think for yourself. Your challenging of authority. Your resistance to being managed and nagged. Your need to be independent. Your impatience with hypocrisy. Your desire to change the world. Your wacky sense of humor, even at our expense.
All of those are signs of your strength – of the men and women you will be, before too long. Forgive us when we forget that sometimes.
We know you are figuring out who you are and what you’re going to do with your life. We’re also trying to figure out who we are and what to do with our lives. Today, on Yom Kippur, we’re honest enough to admit that. Today, on Yom Kippur, when nothing matters but the most important things in our life, we want to tell you that YOU are what matters to us – more than anything else could ever matter – and that you can trust us, always, and that we love you, forever.