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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Issues Yom Kippur Message Apologizing for 'Dividing People' With His Work

( [email protected] ) Oct 03, 2017 10:50 AM EDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) message to his followers, asking for forgiveness for any role his work had in "dividing people rather than bring us together."
Facebook Screengrab/Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) message to his followers, asking for forgiveness for any role his work had in "dividing people rather than bring us together."

"Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes," the 33-year-old social media mogul wrote.

"For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better," he continued. "For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better. May we all be better in the year ahead, and may you all be inscribed in the book of life."

Yom Kippur, also known as the Sabbath of Sabbaths, is the holiest day of the Jewish year. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting, repentance, and intensive prayer.

Traditionally, Jews believe the first Yom Kippur occurred when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. When Moses came down from the mountain, he found the Israelites worshiping a gold idol calf, angering God. After the Israelites atoned for their sin for 40 days, God forgave them and offered Moses a second set of tablets.

Facebook has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks after it was revealed that Russian companies bought thousands of ads to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

"Forty-four percent of the ads were seen before the U.S. election on Nov. 8, 2016, fifty-six percent were seen after the election," Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president for policy and communications, said in a new post on Monday.

Schrage acknowledged it was "possible" that there were more Russian-bought political ads on the network that Facebook has yet to discover.

"We're still looking for abuse and bad actors on our platform - our internal investigation continues," Schrage wrote. "We hope that by cooperating with Congress, the Special Counsel and our industry partners, we will help keep bad actors off our platform."

Zuckerberg was raised in New York in a Jewish family, even having a Bar Mitzvah. While he later identified as an atheist, he sparked questions last year after posting a "Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah" greeting on Facebook.

After he posted the comment, a user asked, "But aren't you atheist?" In response, Zuckerberg replied, "No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important."

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg delivered a speech at Harvard University in which he revealed he sings a Hebrew prayer over his daughter every night.

"As we sit here in front of Memorial Church I'm reminded of a prayer, Mi Shebeirach, that I say whenever I face a big challenge, that I sing to my daughter thinking of her future when I tuck her in at night," he said. "And it goes, 'May the source of strength, who's blessed the ones before us, help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.' I hope you find the courage to make your life a blessing."

Tags : Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Jewish, Jew, yom kippur, Russia, Russia Facebook ads