Six Word Sorry


The High Holidays are a time of introspection and self-improvement. Join us as we commit to change by acknowledging our mistakes and promising to do better in the coming New Year. What's your Six Word Sorry?

We'll be collecting and anonymously sharing Six Word Sorrys from members of the BBYO community—teens, parents, advisors, staff, and friends—as a safe outlet for introspection, goal-setting, and connection. When someone shares their story and someone else realizes they have the same one, we all feel a little less alone.


The “Six Word Story” is a famous literary tool based off an anecdote about American author Ernest Hemingway. Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged by his friends to create the shortest story in the world. Hemingway thought for a moment, took a pen out of his pocket, and jotted down the following six words: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

A complete story in just six words.

Many years later, Larry Smith, editor of Smith magazine, decided to take Hemingway’s concept and translate it into something bigger. He theorized that people often have stories to tell, but are daunted by the enormity of the task. What if people were given a chance to tell their stories, talk about their identities, their dreams—in just six words? He put out a call for these Six Word Stories and submissions poured in from across the world.

Every fall there is a period of time known in the Jewish year as the High Holidays. Although the term may bring up memories of long holiday meals (and even longer services), this season exists in our tradition to provide us with an opportunity for reflection and introspection. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are about focusing inward, working on bettering ourselves, and committing to positive change in our communities. It’s no coincidence that one of the core mitzvot of the High Holidays is saying sorry—apologizing for the things we did wrong in the past year, and committing to do better in this upcoming one.

Saying sorry, working to change—these things can be hard. That’s why we created the Six Word Sorry. Like Hemingway’s tool, our Six Word Sorry allows you to gather your thoughts and hone in on what you really want for this coming year. So, as you take a moment to reflect on this time period, think about how you want to be better. What do you want to apologize for? What do you want to change? What's your Six Word Sorry?


Submit your Six Word Sorry in the box below: