Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Something Happened On The Way To Heaven (song, Phil Collins

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is October 17, a cool day with temperatures in the mid 50s or mid teens Celsius, in my corner of blog land. I just ran across an interesting article about apologies. Did you know that several types exist?

This article is copied here from the grammar site, www.grammargirl.com.

It's good mental and Spiritual health to not only practice forgiving, but also apologizing when necessary. I share this post:

If you follow this apology template step by step, it will helps you explain clearly what you did and understand how you affected someone else. Rather than having you fill in the blanks, it helps you find the words to say what you really mean.
By Samantha Enslen, read by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl
October 12, 2017
A picture of a woman who might need to write an apology letter.
OK, let’s admit it.
None of us really likes to apologize when we’ve done something wrong. 
In fact, the ways we avoid apologies are so common they’ve been given names. There’s the “nopology,” the “unpology,” and the “fauxpology,” just for starters. And the hashtag #sorrynotsorry has trended for years. It’s used to indicate a sardonic lack of shame, as in: “Binge-watching instead of cleaning house #sorrynotsorry.”
So how do you write a good apology and avoid one that rings false?
Let’s start by talking about what NOT to do.
Types of Non-Apologies
1. The “If” Apology
2. The Passive Voice Apology
3. The Reverse Apology
4. The Florid Fauxpology
Let’s explore each non-apology a little further. 
The “If” Apology
First, avoid the “if” apology. It’s probably the most common non-apology. It can suggest oversensitivity, as in, “I’m sorry if you were offended.” It can imply that others weren’t smart enough to understand your intentions, as in, “I’m sorry if my remarks were taken out of context.” And it can suggest that a perceived wrong might not have even occurred, as in, “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.”
To avoid this, drop the “if” from your apologies and simply admit what you did. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings,” try “I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings.”
The “that” makes all the difference.
The Passive Voice Apology
Next, avoid the passive voice apology. Sometimes it’s hard to admit when you’re wrong. When that happens, we can subconsciously slip into the passive voice to give ourselves an out.
“I’m sorry I lost your keys,” becomes “I’m sorry your keys got lost.” “I’m sorry I backed into your car,” becomes “I’m sorry your car got hit.” 
This phrasing lets you acknowledge an offense—while softening the fact that you’re the one who did it.
The most infamous version of the passive voice apology is “Mistakes were made.” These three words have been used by politicians from Nixon to Reagan to Clinton. They’ll surely be used again, anytime politicos want to acknowledge a mess-up without admitting it’s their fault.
To fix this non-apology, use the active voice. Say clearly what you did. For example, “I’m sorry the dishes didn’t get loaded,” becomes “I’m sorry I didn’t load the dishwasher.” “I’m sorry there’s dog pee on the floor,” becomes “I’m sorry I forgot to let the dog out.”
The Reverse Apology
Next, avoid the reverse apology. This one is particularly nasty. It takes a wrong and lays the blame for it at the feet of the accuser. 
Say you had a bad cold and sneezed on a good friend—who justifiably yelled at you. You could say, “I’m sorry I sneezed on you!” Or you could say, defensively, “I’m sorry you’re so sensitive to germs.” 
Or imagine you ate all your roommate’s Captain Crunch. You could say, “I’m sorry I ate all of it.” Or you could say, “I’m sorry you’re not very good at sharing.”
In the first case, you’re admitting that what you did was wrong. In the second case, you’re admitting what you did—but you’re saying that the other person had no reason to take offense.
To reframe a reverse apology, focus on what you did—instead of how the other person reacted. “I’m sorry you’re so sensitive to cold,” becomes “I’m sorry I left the window open all night.” “I’m sorry your allergies are so bad,” becomes “I’m sorry I brought my dog to your house without asking.”
The Florid Fauxpology
Finally, avoid the florid fauxpology. This is the most ridiculous non-apology. Think “I offer you my sincerest apologies,” or “I deeply regret the events of that day to the core of my soul.”
These non-apologies use language steeped in emotion, and they may sound earnest at first blush. But their overheated language makes you wonder if the speaker is sincere—or is just trying really hard to sound sincere.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your apology sounds like soap opera dialogue, rethink it. While you’re at it, cut out unnecessary words, which can dilute the real intention of your apology. For example, “I offer you my sincerest apologies for mowing over your flowers,” would become “I’m sorry I mowed over your flowers.” 
How to Write an Apology
Now that we have these fauxpologies out of the way, let’s talk about the right way to say you’re sorry.
Luckily, there’s a foolproof template you can use. And the template’s not a trick. If you follow it step by step, it helps you explain clearly what you did and understand how you affected someone else. Rather than having you “fill in the blanks,” it helps you find the words to say what you really mean.
We got the idea for this template from Professor Aaron Lazare, and his book “On Apology.” Dr. Lazare explains that a genuine expression of remorse should include these components:
1. Acknowledging the offense clearly
2. Explaining it effectively
3. Restoring the offended parties’ dignity
4. Assuring them they’re safe from a repeat offense
5. Expressing shame and humility
6. Making appropriate reparation
This may seem a little much if you’re apologizing for a small offense, like eating the last of someone’s ice cream, but we’ve found that the little offenses sometimes sting the most. Eating someone’s ice cream becomes a proxy for how little respect you have for them. Or how few boundaries you have. Or how you’re a taker and not a giver.
Let’s see how an apology template might work in this situation. We’ll pair Dr. Lazare’s advice with a sample sentence.
Example of an apology using Lazare's advice
Notice that this apology doesn’t include a justification, such as “I only ate your ice cream because I was so hungry after working all night.” Excuses like this make you feel better. But they don’t mean much to your accuser—and can even negate the impact of your apology. 
It’s hard to do, but leave excuses out of your apology language.
Here’s another example of how the apology template might go:
Another example of an apology using Lazare's technique
Remember, even a sincere apology might not be accepted right away. If that’s the case, try to react with graciousness. You could say, “Thanks for hearing me out,” or “I know you’re still upset, but I appreciate you listening to me.” 
Then give the person time to consider what you’ve said and come to their own conclusion.
Fortunately, to paraphrase Justin Bieber, it’s often not too late to say you’re sorry. And even if you really messed up, a thoughtfully-worded apology can go a long way toward healing hurt feelings. 
Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial. You can find her at dragonflyeditorial.com or @DragonflyEdit.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Starting Over New Cycle!

Hello Grafted In Readers,

This evening marks the absolute final day of the Fall Feast of Tabernacles, and is a special occasion. It marks the conclusion of the current Torah cycle, and recognition that a new Torah cycle is about to begin this Sabbath. In synagogues across the world, the first six chapters of Genesis are read this Shabbat or Sabbasth. It is "beginning" or "Breishit" in Hebrew. What "beginning" are you and I facing this day, this week that we need Hashem to assist us with?

"They who wait on the Lord will be refreshed; they will mount up with wings as eagles," (Isaiah chapter 41 verse 10).

As is our custom, each post focuses on a health note from the Mayo Clinic newsletter, Housecall, or some other reputable health source.

At this stage of life, my wife and I live together, eat together, grocery shop together, and our children are on their own living life as young adults.

Recently, Housecall offered cooking tips for "one or two-person" households. Here are a few.
- Plan. Shop for the week, and have a menu or meal plan in mind.
- Stock the pantree with fruit, vegetables, beans and whole-grains. such as barley, brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa.
- Freeze fresh foods. For example, freeze loaves of bread, meat, vegetables, fruit and whole-grains.
- Prepare one-dish meal sizes.
- Cook once; use twice.

Book Buzz

I am still waiting for bloggers to contact me concerning promoting one another's fiction titles. If interested comment with contact info, or email me at

Until next time, Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be with us in our beginning.

Mellow Rock

David Russell


Waiting For Messiah

Friday, October 6, 2017

Festival, Health, Book Buzz

Hello Grafted In Readers,
_ Feast of Tabernacles
- Oral Health
- Book Bloggers

Today is October 6 in my corner of blog land. It is also for many the second full day of a week-long festival known as The Feast of Tabernacles. This festival was given by G-d to the children of Israel to recall his providing for them during their forty year nomadic journey in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. As they settled in the promised land, this festival took on celebrating the in-gathering of the Fall harvest too. Customs have also sprung up as this festival has been celebrated down through the centuries.

On the Sabbath during this festival, synagogue services feature a public reading of the book of Ecclesiastes. It is best known for the phrase, "Vanity is vanity, all is vanity."

The newsletter from "My Jewish Learning" notes,
"This book struggles with the meaning of life in the light of death. ... Readers are informed, Ecclesiastes is read so that we can rededicate ourselves to living the moments G-d has given us here on planet earth. "One must find intrinsic value in the present."

Health Note Our Mouth

The Mayo Clinic newsletter, Housecall, had a feature on oral health in its recent edition. Of note: Certain diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body's resistance to infection.
Moreover, certain medications including diuretics and decongestants, can over time reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acid. Drinking water on a regular basis helps balance this level.

Book Interest
First, I am happy to inform you, another blogspot neighbor has posted a concise review of my anthology, "Waiting For Messiah."
The URL is: http://tinyurl.com/ycq5enp6
and I thank Elma for so doing.

Next, I wonder if you may be interested to coordinate something with faith bloggers who write works of fiction and may want to promote our writing activity on one another's blogs. Perhaps we could begin this in early November. If interested, email me at
It could be as simple as mentioning book title, publisher and 3-sentence summary. This might include what formats the book is in.

Until next visit, shalom and G-d bless you in your coming and going.

David Russell
Mellow Rock