Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg | How to Make Amends When We Cause Harm (and we all will)

Danya RuttenbergWe all mess up. Sometimes in small ways, but other times big ones. Sometimes privately, other times publicly. We don’t mean to – or maybe we do in the momentum, but feel remorse after the fact. Either way, we all will, at some point, hurt someone. And we may also suffer repercussions. Whether personal, communal, or societal. Question is, what do we do after that? How do we repair the harm, and make amends? How do we find a way back to grace, connection, community, redemption and repair? Is that even possible in all cases? And if so, what are the steps? And what about forgiveness? Does that, and should it, be a part of the process? 

Turns out, there is a well-defined set of steps, a path, that very few know about. That is where we’re headed into today’s conversation with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg. Named by Newsweek as a “rabbi to watch” and a “wunderkind of Jewish feminism” by Publishers Weekly, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is an award-winning author of serval books and a writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic to name a few. She serves as Scholar in Residence at the National Council of Jewish Women and as rabbi and educator at Tufts and Northwestern Universities, Hillel International, the dialogue project Ask Big Questions, and Avodah, an organization dedicated to creating leaders for economic justice

Today, we explore a practical, though not always easy, 5-step path to repair, reconciliation, and redemption based on ancient, universal wisdom, that she details in her newest book, On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World. We talk about each step, why it’s there, how to step into it, and some challenging “edge case” and how to both do the work and set expectations. And, we also talk about forgiveness, with Rabbi Danya offering a powerful alternative take on it.

You can find Rabbi Danya at: Website | Twitter | Instagram

If you LOVED this episode:

  • You’ll also love the conversations we had with Jonathan Haidt about the free exchange of ideas, cancel culture, and the line between growth and harm.

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photo credit: Sally Blood

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