Elul Reflections: It’s Not My Fault But I Am Responsible

Last night, in a doc called “Weed,” CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, shared a compassionate and compelling apology.   Gupta explained that he had long reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the US and previously thought it was unimpressive, but has now reversed his position: “I now apologize,” said Gupta.

Dr. Gupta explained:  “I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, … and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis… it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana.”

Dr. Gupta understands that his opinion has not directly decided medical perspectives and national health policy.  Yet, he acknowledges his influence.  Restrictions around medical marijuana are not his fault; yet he shares responsibility.

Marijuana controversy aside, Gupta’s model of apology teaches us to weed through our own actions and to consider how we make an impact on our community and how we share responsibility for the ills of our society.  And so, when we confess on Yom Kippur we pray in the plural voice  to say, it might not all be my fault, but I share responsibility.

L’shanah tovah–Your RS clergy