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Journalists’ Viddui (Confession): “You have sinned, you have betrayed”

  • I have slandered.
  • I have over-dramatized information.
  • I have tweeted information before checking if it is true.
  • I have cast blame on the blameless.
  • I have portrayed myself and my community as above reproach.
  • I have editorialized wantonly.
  • I have failed to internalize the pain of others, those sick, those jobless, those at high risk, those afraid, those more worried about feeding their families than avoiding COVID-19, those more worried about keeping their children healthy than in-person education.
  • I have failed to fully attempt to understand those different from me, with different priorities and different needs.
  • I have pretended to be an epidemiologist.
  • I have portrayed myself falsely as an expert.
  • I have faked mathematical, statistical and health expertise when I had none.
  • I have feigned confidence in my pronouncements when none were warranted.
  • I have quoted only those experts who match my agenda, or only those who go against the grain.
  • I have not given readers a full picture, but only snippets that give some ideas a soapbox while ignoring counter-points that also merit being heard.
  • I have led readers astray.
  • I have confused readers.
  • I have confused editors.
  • I have downplayed truly important news.
  • I have overplayed less-than-important news in the service of a certain agenda or my own comfort.
  • I have allowed sources to be quoted anonymously when no such anonymity is justified.
  • I have given nameless sources a platform to slander others.
  • I have plagiarized ideas.
  • I have not quoted women. I have not quoted Arabs. I have not quoted the ultra-Orthodox.
  • I have slandered whole communities with the stench of collective guilt.
  • I have questioned the intentions of others.
  • I have questioned the expertise and good sense of others.
  • I have hypocritically refused to follow the same guidelines that I preach.
  • I have preached.
  • I have copy and pasted.
  • I have over-edited, subsuming the writer’s voice under my own.
  • I have failed to fully understand.
  • I have assumed.
  • I have insulted my readers’ intelligence.
  • I have insulted experts, leaders and everyone else.
  • I have trolled.
  • I have mocked.
  • I have acted with disregard to the holy work of my profession, placing a dark cloud over the absolutely vital work of my colleagues, both at The Times of Israel and at other publications.
  • I have punned with horrifying impunity.
  • I have failed my readers.
  • I have failed.

Next year will be better.

Source: Joshua Davidovich – TOI


The Viddui, which means “confession,” is a prayer recited just before Yom Kippur, and repeated many times throughout the holiday.

During the Viddui, worshipers gently beat themselves on the chest for each transgression listed. This action serves as a symbolic punishment for our hearts, which are ultimately responsible for leading us to sins of greed, lust and anger.

The Viddui includes the Ashamnu, an alphabetical acrostic of different sins we have committed. It is said in first-person plural, because while each individual may not have committed these specific sins, as a community we surely have, and our fates are intertwined on this day.

Source: My Jewish Learning