Dear Professor: I’m Sorry for Scheduling the Most Important Jewish Holiday on the Day of Your Midterm


Dear Professor, 

I just wanted to apologize for my thoughtlessness in asking you to reschedule your midterm. You were right in your refusal to do so. It was a gross oversight on my part, as I should have considered the importance of your midterm over Yom Kippur. You clearly established the midterm date on the first day of class and included it in paragraph four of the third page of the syllabus. It was negligent of me not to consider this fact when I was putting together my calendar for the Jewish Year 5783. I should have consulted Jewish leaders both in the US and abroad about moving the holy day to accommodate your class. I’m sure they would understand the importance of your test over the Jewish people. 

I cannot emphasize the significance of your midterm enough. Biology is something that is of great importance to the world; life is everywhere and Punnet Squares are a great hobby of mine. The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur only affects 14.8 million people; that’s fewer people than the number that tuned into the last episode of The Big Bang Theory. I mean, Jewish people do account for only 0.2% of the global population, so it’s probably an exaggeration that 15% of the Vanderbilt population is Jewish. With this in mind, I understand the scheduling conflict; Yom Kippur is obviously less relevant. 

Let me just explain the irrelevance of Yom Kippur to ease any guilt you might feel! On Yom Kippur, the Jewish people atone for all their sins of the past year. One of the traditions is that no work is done on this day—I don’t think that includes taking midterms though. Most of the holiday is spent praying in Shul (appealing to your Christian normativity, let’s call it “church”) and fasting for 25 hours straight. I mean, most Jewish thinkers and Rabbis alike have come to the consensus that it is the most important Jewish holiday, but even the most important Jewish holiday is nowhere near as important as your midterm. Also, I haven’t even sinned that much this past year, so I barely have to atone. 

Ultimately, despite all these things, I will still be unable to take your midterm. I understand that your midterm is infinitely more worth my while, and my absence may affect your perception of me, but I, unfortunately, have to observe Yom Kippur. But do not worry! I will include this scheduling conflict at the very top of my short list of sins to atone for. 

Yours in sin, 


  • October 5, 2022