Rabbi Shmuley Speaks to Roseanne Barr About the Recent Controversy and the Jewish Concept of Repentance Episode #1

Rabbi Shmuley Speaks to Roseanne Barr About the Recent Controversy and the Jewish Concept of Repentance Episode #2
July 2, 2018

Roseanne Barr on Repentance, Jewish Values, and the Pain We Cause Others

Edited Transcript of Roseanne’s Conversation with Rabbi Shmuley on his Podcast

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

 

When I first heard about my friend Roseanne Barr’s tweet about Valeria Jarrett, I could scarcely believe it. I’ve known Roseanne for two decades and I’ve never seen a racist bone in her body or been exposed to a racist idea crossing her lips. Not even a hint of one.

How could she have written that?

The question was especially strong in light of Roseanne’s incredibly public and passionate commitment to Judaism in general and studying Torah in particular. The Torah, in its very first chapter in Genesis, makes the incontrovertible and powerful statement that God created every human being in His image. All humanity is one, equal, and of infinite value. Racism, therefore, is a sin not just against man but especially against God. So how could Roseanne write something racist when I know she’s not one? How could Roseanne have written something ugly about an African-American woman when Roseanne has always told me Martin Luther King was her idol?

I reached out to her and told her that she has a responsibility, in the name of repentance and her commitment to Judaism, to make this right. She agreed and allowed me to interview her for a podcast that was comprehensive and moving. The written transcript below, edited for both clarity and brevity, does not do justice to the depth of emotion she showed throughout our discussion. She cried through much of it. It was clear she was in terrible pain. She ended the discussion by expressing her desire to call Valerie Jarrett directly and apologize to her, even though she had already apologized on Jarrett’s Twitter feed and on her own Twitter account.

I hope this discussion, however incomplete, leads to healing in our country and to all of us committing – as Roseanne does courageously in this interview – to taking responsibility when we cause pain to others and seek to right the wrong.

——————

 

Rabbi Shmuley: Hi Roseanne, it’s really nice to speak to you. How are you doing?

Roseanne Barr: I’m OK. How are you?

S: Well it’s really nice for us to connect again. We’ve been friends amazingly for more than two decades.

R: Isn’t that weird?

S: Isn’t that amazing, and we’ve remained friends. And I’m going to quickly retell a little bit of our history. I published a book called Kosher Sex, almost twenty years ago. You had me on your show. You had a talk show at the time. The Roseanne Barr Show. I remember it was filmed in television city in CBS, and we clicked. You’re a very proud Jewish woman. I guess you liked having a Rabbi who wrote a book about sexuality! We got along like a house on fire on your show and when I saw that you were so committed to your daughters marrying Jewish – your three daughters – I suggested to you, Hey, Oh you asked me, do you know any nice Jewish guys for my daughters. And I said, “I’m the Rabbi at Oxford university, do I know? Is the Pope Catholic? I know all the great Jewish guys!” And you actually brought me in with three guys that I chose to date your daughters on your show, and it was amazing.

R: Right, right, of course none of them worked out.

S: (Laughs)

R: How it turned out is, I got one of my three daughters… is married to a Russian Jewish guy and they’re adorable. And my other two married, you know, wonderful men, and they’re kind of hippyish, but their very good people, and I have six wonderful grandkids. And I tried to teach them about Torah and you know, their parents think I’m crazy, but I’m not going to give up, but you know that’s how families are now.

S: Well I also know you to be an extremely loving and involved mother. I’ve witnessed that over the past two decades, and how close you are to your kids.

R: Well my kids may think it’s too much. I think I am too. Thank you.

S: Well you’re a Jewish mother, you can’t help it. That’s the way it is. It’s in our DNA.

R: Especially when you know, they’re not doing the right thing. You want them to, well I know everything, and they don’t trust that. That’s the problem.

S: Well I’m not even a Jewish mother, I’m a Jewish father and my kids accuse me of the exact same thing. So I guess it’s a…

R: Well I think it’s, all parents are the same Jewish or not Jewish, yeah they’re all, they try to take care of our kids and guide them.

S: Exactly.

R: Yeah, really. It blows up in your face sometimes when you make a horrible, embarrassing mistake that you bring shame to your family. Now that’s bad too, and I’m going through that right now.

S: No, I can imagine and I’m going to get to that soon. But I first want to establish the nature of our friendship, and the framework of the values by which you live your life. Because I feel what you just mentioned this mistake and the repercussions. It does need a little bit of context. So let’s just dwell on this for a moment.

The other thing that connects us is a love of Torah. I’m amazed as a Hollywood superstar, as a globally recognized name, how openly and beautifully and eloquently you speak for your love of Torah. You and I have studied Torah together – and you’re one of the few high profile people I’ve studied Torah with who constantly promotes it. I’ve studied a lot of Torah with Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who was my student president at Oxford. I studied Torah with Michael Jackson, the singer before he tragically died at such a young age. I studied Torah with Samantha Power, who was President Obama’s UN ambassador, we studied the passages from Leviticus about anti-genocide. You know, “Thou shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,” Leviticus 19.

R: I wish [I] would have studied Torah with them, Shmuley. I might have definitely had a different way of teaching…

S: (Laughs)

R: Most people I know, they needed Torah for sure. But that’s, that’s, that’s the funny thing. That today’s Torah portion is about how to, when my brother does wrong and of course I’m including myself in that. But when you feel someone is doing wrong against you, what do you do, and when you feel you’ve done wrong against someone, what do you do, and it’s answered beautifully in today’s portion. It was funny that I got up and read that first thing. My mom’s like, “Get out here, look what the Torah says.” And it was just, uh, such an incredible thing to read, it’s so brilliant.

S: So I’m going to get to that as well. But I want to make this point, thank you very much for mentioning that. Because I do want this to be framed by our shared commitment to Torah values. But I mention that because of all the high-profile people I’ve studied Torah with, Torah specifically, the Jewish Bible, you’re the one who speaks the most passionately, publicly about your love for the Torah, it’s quite remarkable. You said it so beautifully at The Jerusalem Post conference in front of some of the most influential people in the world, world leaders just about a month ago at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square.

R: Yeah, Yeah. I didn’t have much of a voice or I would have done more. But, it’s so fun to be a Jew, don’t forget that, just a blast.

S: (Laughs)

R: (laughs)

S: Well out of all the things I’ve heard about being Jewish, fun, fun was never one of them (laughs).

R: I know, but it is. It’s joyous, it’s so fun, joyous and deep and wonderful. I get a lot of joy from it.

S: There are a lot of Hollywood celebrities that are Jewish. But you’re one of the few that speaks that passionately and proudly about your Jewishness, the State of Israel, which brings us to this conversation about your recent tweet about Valerie Jarrett.

I know your heart, I have had limitless interactions with you, and my wife Debbie and we love you, and feel close to you so.

R: Me too.

S: And I know your values system. I know what you believe. So the first thing I wanted to address is knowing that you love the Torah, and the Torah is clear. The very first chapter of Genesis says emphatically that every human being is created equally in the image of God, Jew and non-Jew alike.

R: Right.

S: There were no Jews when God created Adam and Eve. They were the parents of all mankind, black and white…

R: That’s right.

S: Every shade in between

R: I always say our ancestors go back way before the Jews.

S: Correct. To Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden.

R: Right.

S: Who are created in the image of God. Which means every human being regardless of nationality, ethnicity, belief system is equally God’s child.

R: Right, you know what it says in the [Torah] reading today. I love this so much it says, “We are all, all of us, all of mankind and humanity, we are from the same embryo. I just love that. And that’s why we look at our fingernails…

S: On Saturday night at the end of Shabbat at the Havdalah service… Go on, please, we look at our fingernails…

R: Because it reminds us of when we were in an embryonic state before we became of matter. We were just spiritual and we were all connected. There was only one soul.

S: That’s beautiful.

R: That’s why we do it.

S: (Laughs) You’re teaching a Rabbi.

R: Well I told you Shmuley. I’ve been teaching Torah for twenty-five years, and I teach it to a small select group and a lot of them are Rabbis that I study with. Anyway, I’m just joyous that’s part of the joy of community and you know sisterhood and you know oneness and it’s just great to celebrate that with other people of like mind and shared values. I like doing it with everybody. I teach everybody that wants to know. Ya’ know?

S: And I know you love teaching, so that’s my point.

R: I just like reading it and talking about it and looking at it. You know it’s just such an amazing power source. Like plugging in a cord into a wall. Woo, here comes the light! That’s how it feels. Just to look at it. Just to study the letters, that’s a very deep thing to me.

S: Well, teacher is a really important word. The greatest people that ever lived were all teachers whether they were Moses, Jesus or Muhammad, or Martin Luther King. They were all teachers.

R: I’m a bad teacher because I make too many mistakes. I like sharing. But I make too many human mistakes to call myself that.

S: Well let’s get to this specifically now. So we’ve established your value system. It’s from the Torah and I know you love it and you preach it. And it doesn’t help your career to talk about how much you study the Torah, because the Jewish people are a tiny minority.

R: No.

S: But you do it.

R: They think you’re crazy.

S: Right, and you do it because it’s your passion now.

R: Yeah, it makes me feel good.

S: Now there’s two systems of thought in the world that predominate. One is the Judeo-Christian religious system from the Hebrew Bible. It says God created man. The other is what’s taught in schools, it’s evolution, that people evolved slowly over time. The former says all people are created equally in God’s image and the latter says we evolved through different phases ultimately through primates and became human. Now I know you subscribe to the Torah. You are one of the Hollywood stars that most speaks about that. The Torah is clear that all humans are uniquely God’s creation.

R: I feel really great when I study Torah and when I think about it and when I pray and meditate. I just feel energized and great, and when I’m doing the right thing I feel so good and that’s all it is to me. The rest is like, you know, the sages said the rest is commentary, I can recite it on one foot, that I love myself and my fellows the same. That’s all it is really.

S: But you were saying today you made a big mistake, with your tweet. So what I’m saying is you believe in the Torah’s values, all people are created in the image of God, right? Black and white, Jew and non-Jew, correct?

R: Yes. All. Yeah.

S: Completely and equally. You have tremendous depth, Roseanne. And one of the things that I said to you when this whole controversy broke with the tweet about Valerie Jarrett, I wrote to you and I said, “You’re too important to the Jewish people, to the State of Israel, to all the Americans that love you, to let yourself be felled by a controversy or to say anything that contravenes your core Torah values.” And that’s what I wanted to speak to you about, who you really are. To set the record straight and to recant or repent of anything that needs to be done. Because I know your heart and I know you have great love in your heart. And I know your values are that all human beings are equal and all human beings are God’s children. So, I’m asking, in that tweet, people see in that a complete contravention of that values system.

R: Right.

S: So how did it happen? You don’t believe that. You don’t believe that any human beings are less than anyone else. And you speak constantly about the Torah that has influenced the whole world. That is the only source for the belief that all people are equal. Because they are created equal in the image of God, every single one of them. That’s why Martin Luther King quoted the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, constantly. The greatest civil rights leader of all time used the Torah as the foundation of his liberation manifesto for humanity.

R: He’s my idol. He is my Idol.

S: Okay, he’s the greatest American of the 20th century. I’ve said that constantly…  I’m glad that we share that. I try to memorize his speeches. So how do you, someone who looks at Martin Luther King as an idol and loves the Torah – and I know your heart – how did you write something that people feel is in complete contravention of that values system?

R: It’s really hard to say this but, I didn’t mean what they think I meant. And that’s what’s so painful. But I have to face that it hurt people. When you hurt people even unwillingly there’s no excuse. I don’t want to run off and blather on with excuses. But I apologize to anyone who thought, or felt offended and who thought that I meant something that I, in fact, did not mean. It was my own ignorance, and there’s no excuse for that ignorance. But I didn’t mean it the way they’re saying I meant it. And that’s really weird too because if I don’t speak for myself, who will speak for me.

S: As Hillel said, right?

R: And if I’m only for myself, then I’m one big jerk, but I’m paraphrasing. So I have to speak for myself too, and say what was in my mind, and what I meant and what I did. And I can’t let other people define me and project their stuff on to me. Now they’re just changing the words of what I said totally. So painful.

S: OK, so I’m about to ask you, Roseanne, what you meant, but I’m going to ask you in the context of also our shared commitment, yours and my shared commitment to the Torah’s ideas of repentance. What I love about Judaism is its holiest days are about being better and improving and repentance. And the great sage Maimonides, whom you and I both revere, gave stages as to how we are to repent and make right the pain we cause others.

R: Well it’s not just about repentance, repentance is like self-reflection. And then after repentance, remorse. The point is to feel remorse in your heart because that’s what unplugs your heart. You have to feel remorse, not just repentance. That’s just a step towards feeling remorse. And when you feel remorse you have to follow it with recompense. You have to take an action in the world – whether it’s through money or other things – to correct your sin. After your heart is unfrozen and after it stops being broken from the pain you caused others, you stop being a robot and you gotta’ come back to God. So it’s remorse, and I definitely feel remorse. (Speaking while crying)      

S: You see this? This is the eloquence on values I’ve always heard from you, that people don’t always get to hear from you, Roseanne.

R: (Sobbing) I have black children in my family. I can’t, I can’t let ‘em say these things about that, after thirty years of my putting my family and my health and my livelihood at risk to stand up for people. I’m a lot of things, a loud mouth and all that stuff. (Crying) But I’m not stupid for God’s sake. I never would have wittingly called any black person, [I would never had said] they are a monkey. I just wouldn’t do that. I didn’t do that. And people think that I did that and it just kills me. (sobbing) I didn’t do that. And if they do think that, I’m just so sorry that I was so unclear and stupid. I’m very sorry. But I don’t think that and I would never do that. I have loved ones who are African-American, and I just can’t stand it. (Sobbing) I’ve made a huge error and I told ABC when they called me. They said… (sobbing) I gotta’ get a hold of myself here, wait. I gotta get a hold of myself. (sobbing)

S: Take your time.

R: They said, “What were you possibly thinking to say this egregious and unforgivable thing you said?” Now first of all I had already apologized and removed it by then cause it wasn’t up very long. You know,  sometimes you reread your tweets, especially Memorial Day weekend at 2am, on Ambien. And that’s no excuse, but that is what was real.

S: It’s not an excuse because you and I both believe in the Torah’s definition of repentance where we don’t excuse bad behavior, right?

R: There’s no excuse. I don’t excuse it. It’s an explanation. I was impaired you know.

S: Right. But you still regret and don’t excuse what you wrote.

R: Of course, no I don’t excuse it. I horribly regret it. Are you kidding? I lost everything, and I regretted it before I lost everything. And I said to God, “I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,” and I do, and I have. But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology, or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible (crying).

R: When ABC hired me they asked me to get off Twitter, cause I’m always saying things, right? And I told them, I promise I will get off twitter, they said, cause you’ll shoot yourself in the foot if you’re on there, and my kids took it away from me, and the whole thing cause they said, “Mom, you have to stop.” I told ABC, I have to tell you right now before we sign any papers that I will never stop defending Israel and the Jewish people. I cannot, if I were to do that, I would rather be dead, I can’t do that. So if you want to hire me know that. I will never stop.

S: You’re a ferocious defender of Israel, let’s take a step back for a moment.

R: Well you know Shmuley I grew up, my grandmother owned an apartment, which my mother still owns, and that is the apartment I grew up in and in that apartment my grandparents sponsored survivors from the camps, Auschwitz too. And I grew up with people who had numbers tattooed on their arms, and when I was three years old they had me watch the Eichmann trial… That affected me and I made a deal with God then that I would never stop, and I never will stop. I will never stop and that’s what I thought I was doing. Cause Valerie Jarrett, I don’t agree with her politics and I thought she was white, I did not know she was a black woman. When ABC called me and said what is the reason for your egregious racism, I said, Oh my God, it is a form of racism. I guess I didn’t know she was black, and I’ll cop to it, but I thought she was white.

S: OK, Roseanne. But some people are going to hear you say this and they are going to think, on the one hand, Roseanne is apologizing and saying she made a terrible mistake.

R: I did!

S: And that Martin Luther King is her hero.

R: Right.

S: And she believes in the absolute equality of all people. But on the other hand, she is defending what said, that Roseanne is kind of finding reasons that excuse her behavior, so I want to…

R: No, it’s why I did it. It’s no excuse. It’s the reason and I will say the truth. That’s what I thought.

I know it’s a form of racism to assume every person who looks white is white. But it’s a mistake that a lot of people make. People make that mistake about me all the time. They don’t know I’m a Jew. We all make that mistake. It was an insensitive thing for me, but it’s the reason, and I’m just gonna’ own my reason. I can’t let anyone else say I did it because I’m a racist, because I didn’t. Although now when I look back, you shouldn’t compare any people – regardless of ethnicity –

S: Because it goes against the Torah….

R: No, they are saying that I said black people look like monkeys. But that’s not what I said. Here’s what I said. I know the history of the world, and racism and how it affects people. I’m not ignorant. But I’m stupid sometimes. I understand everything, you know, not everything obviously, but a lot about racism, and I always have. I’ve always worked with black women. I’ve done that since the sixties. And you know it still creeps in. I am so sorry and humiliated and you know, angry at myself. But in my heart I just made a stupid error. I told that to ABC, and they didn’t accept it, or want to hear it. But that’s the truth, and I thought she was white. When it was over I was like why would you call any person that?

S: But Rosanne if you and I get into the weeds of this, the overall principle will be lost. Let’s establish something.

R: No, I don’t want to go away from this subject. I don’t want to change the subject…

S: You had issues with Valerie Jarrett over Middle East policy, Israel, the Iran deal…

R: Well, she was the architect of the [Iran deal]…

S: I understand, I understand. I also had issues with her policies.

R: And I don’t agree with her politics, and I kind of think of her as someone who is trying to subvert, you know, freedom for me. I do think of her that way.

S: But we can disagree with Valerie Jarrett and anyone in the Obama administration, or Trump administration, on policy. We can always disagree on policy. Do you believe that they’re humanity is fully guaranteed? That they are all equally God’s children, even as we disagree with them on issues or policy?

R: Of course.

S: And that Valerie Jarrett is a very smart, very articulate, and a very refined woman, albeit with whom you have very strong policy disagreements.

R: I ask people if you look at my tweet don’t defend me. I’ve done something egregious and I don’t want to be defended. I don’t want to get anymore racism going from what I did, I don’t want that. I don’t want to be defended.

S: And you’ve expressed a lot of emotion, the pain you’re feeling from what you’ve done. You’ve repented through what you said with your apology and feeling great remorse.

R: No and it’s not just that. I’ve given money to those I’ve offended (charities focused on African-American children’s education).

S: Because you’re taking Maimonides three stages of repentance: remorse and pain, committing to a new path, and making restitution.

R: Recompense.  

S: Yes, Recompense, that’s correct. That’s Maimonides’ Jewish idea of repentance.

R: For Tikkun Olam.

S: For Tikkun Olam, to repair the world. Yes, I respect that.

R: Yeah.

S: Roseanne, help me here for one second in our last minutes.

R: Okay but don’t go past this. Everyone talks about intersectional politics in America, and remember I ran for president so I’m not politically naïve. But this intersectionality just happens to exclude Jews on every level. It really bothers me, and that’s why I did my run for president.

S: But you understand how people viewed your tweet about Valerie Jarrett and how wrong it was?

R: I do. And that’s why I feel horrible.

S: Well that’s why we’re having a real conversation. But it’s also a values conversation, on Torah principles.

R: But every day on Twitter Jews are called actual apes, and actual pigs. And nobody says a damn thing about it. I didn’t say black people look like apes, come on. I didn’t do that. I can see how it was misconstrued. That’s why I’m trying to rectify it because I’m not that person. I never was, and I never will be. I never will be that person. I was trying to say that I had issues with the Obama administration on Israel and Jewish issues.

S: Many people felt that the Obama administration’s policies towards Israel created unnecessary tensions with Israel. The condemnation at the UN [which the Obama Administration did not veto] and the last month of the Obama administration and resolution 2234 about the settlements… meanwhile hundreds of thousands of innocent Arabs were being murdered in Syria. So, a lot of people felt that way. But what we all have to agree to do is affirm the humanity of our opponents, even as we disagree with their ideas.

R: I don’t even look at them as my opponents. I know so many Palestinian people, please. I used to be a complete leftist. In fact, I wrote most of the narrative they’re out there parroting now. Before I opened my eyes, I said those things myself and it’s also why I have to say these things now. Cause I am no longer under robotic mind control of the left. I want freedom for everybody. I consider Palestinian people, they’re my cousins. They are like me.

S: They’re children of God in the image of God, like all of us. As is Valerie Jarrett.

R: They are our people too. Part of our people. Because we are several tribes. I happen to be Tribe of David and Tribe of Judah. They are a tribe too… Sometimes I think, damn, I’m just going to move to Israel and run for Prime Minister myself. I want peace, they’re all children. And I want women’s rights and children’s rights. And men to be treated decently. I want them to have jobs. I want all those things that Torah teaches that’s what the Jews are here to bring. That’s what we have always brought. Justice…

S: And an emphasis on peace. We Jews say God’s name is peace.

R: I’m not for any people suffering. I’m not.

S: Okay, Roseanne, I’m not trying to go past anything, but there’s one thing I want to hone in on for a second. I’m your friend and I know your heart.

R: I know.

S: And this has been a very moving conversation. I think your real core values and core principles and convictions are being expressed with a lot of emotion and feeling and I know that you’ve been sobbing through your words and I don’t want to cause you pain. The one thing I want to hone in on is this. We Jews know more than most what it feels to be dehumanized, right?

R: Yeah.

S: Six million Jews were slaughtered. I took my kids over the summer to all the killing fields across Europe, from Majdanek, to Auschwitz, to Treblinka. The Jews were first dehumanized through a propaganda campaign.

R: Right.

S: And it was an effective propaganda campaign. It was evil.

R: It wasn’t just that, it was the culmination of two thousand years of hatred of the Jewish people.

S: That’s right, of anti-Semitism.

R: The inquisition, the witch burning, many of the people burned were Jewish women. I mean it’s European History.

S: So, the dehumanization of our people is something we really understand. I was on a skating rink in Miami when I was a boy and a girl skated up to me and said, “Can you remove that skull cap so I can see your horns.” So, we know more than most what it’s like to be dehumanized. You are one of the most famous…

R: I don’t know if we know more than most. But we know more than… we know as much as any suffering people.

S: Right, right, we know too much. So, this is the last thing I wanted to bring to you. You’re one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world. You’re one of the most famous Jewish women in all the world.

R: Well nobody knows I’m Jewish.

S: Here’s the one thing I want to put to you. Do you understand in light of our own Jewish history that when we make any kind of comment – and the Rabbis of the Torah said we have to be very careful with our words, right?…

R: I know.

S: In the Ethics of our Fathers it says be very careful with your words. Do you understand that if you write a tweet like this about Valerie Jarrett, or if you say something that can be misconstrued as dehumanizing, why the pain is great and why the backlash is so great? Actually, in light of Jewish history, let alone African-American history, where in this country we sold God’s children on the block just one hundred and fifty years ago…

R: That’s right.

S: Then all the Jim Crow that followed… A black child couldn’t take a drink of water in the South…

R: Absolutely.

S: You understand why this caused a lot of pain?

R: Yeah. I do. And you know, it just makes me sick, that I did it and that it was taken that way. It makes me sick. There’s no, I can’t defend it. I don’t want to defend it. I just wanted to explain. What was in my head. That’s what ABC asked me, “What was in your head when you did that.” And I told the truth, like I’m telling you. I just wanted to give my full honest, what was in my head. And I never, ever meant it to hurt people.

S: And Roseanne, finally, is there anything you want to say on the line with us together, specifically to Valerie Jarrett? You know we may disagree with her policies, is there anything you want to say to her specifically?

R: I went to her Twitter page and I said “Please forgive me. I have done something horrible and I apologize to you, and I ask for your forgiveness.” And you know, I tried to get her phone number because even though I don’t agree with her – even when we really disagree with someone because they’re hurting us and our families – we still have to treat them with human dignity. And that’s what I wanted to apologize to her for. Because you know, even though I didn’t have that in my head it came out that way. Sometimes you just say the wrong words and I should have known better. I shouldn’t have done it. I wish to hell I wouldn’t have done it or be more clear with a few letters. I should have been better, and I wasn’t. And I caused a lot of pain. I know that, and that’s the worse feeling in the world. I caused pain for my family, I caused pain for my mother, I caused pain to the two hundred out-of-work actors that I loved. And the crew and writers. I feel so bad that they gave me another chance and I blew it. But I did it. And what can I do now except say of course, I’m not a racist, I’m an idiot. And I might have done something that comes across as bigoted and ignorant, and I know that’s how it came across. And you know, I asked for forgiveness ‘cause I do love all people, I really do.

S: Roseanne, you’ve tried to practice all three levels of Maimonides’ repentance. You feel terrible remorse. You’ve tried to make rectifications, an apology. And you said you’ve given money to charities that deal specifically with race relations.

R: Well for children. I gave money for African-American children’s education.

S: The final thing I want to say is, you’re supposed to approach the person you hurt directly. So I think this thing you are saying about calling Valerie Jarrett is proper and get her number and call her.

R: Well I can’t find her number of course, if anyone has her number…

S: I think that would be really appropriate. I’m gonna’ see if we can find out ‘cause I think you should call her and apologize to her.

R: I want to apologize to Michelle Obama too, because I heard she was irate, and that nothing I could say is forgivable.

S: Well, I’m sure they believe in repentance as well. We’ll see if we can advance it along the way.

R: You think we can do that?

S: Well, we’re gonna’ try because these are the value we believe in. We believe in rectifying wrong, curing pain we’ve caused, and repentance.

R: Well thank you.

S: And taking responsibility. I wish you all the best. And God bless you, and lets makes this all right, and let’s bring healing to America, and bring all of God’s children – white, black, Jew, non-Jew, atheist, agnostic – let’s bring everyone together.

R: Let’s bring healing to the whole world. And let’s bring healing to the whole Middle East, once it’s time.

S: Yes, God willing.

R: Now I just want God to let me do the right thing to do that.

S: You’ve spoken from the heart. God bless you Roseanne and we’ll see how much we can do.

R: Thank you Shmuley, and I love you. Bye.

S: Love you too. Bye.

 

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