Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Please Point Out My Mistakes

Now that computers are so fast that they can actually check our spelling as we type, we have a new kind of typo: a correctly spelled incorrect word.  In a recent post, I meant to write "revelation of HaShem's Kavod", but inadvertently chose the first choice of offered by the spell checker and you all got, "revaluation of HaShem's Kavod."  Thankfully, you all know me well enough to realize that I didn't mean HaShem's Kavod needs any revaluation!  In another post I wrote "meet out capital punishment", and it should have been "mete out" (thankfully, I didn't write "meat out"...).  I try my best to catch those things, but if I were to do a complete and proper proof reading to make sure every post was ready for the printing press, there simply would be no posts.  I therefore appreciate very much when an error is noticed and reported to me, as I fix it on the blog post (its more or less permanent home).

Now, of course, most of you also know me well enough to know that I think there is a good lesson to be learned from this that is especially relevant this time of year.  First, Chazal tell us that sukkos is the first day from which our aveiros get counted (Vayikra Raba 30:7).  Why not from the day after Yom Kippur?  We are so busy with the mitzvos of arba minim and building the sukkah, that any mistakes we make are counted as accidental and forgiven immediately.  Making mistakes is part of being human; especially when we push ourselves.  There are four people in history who never committed an aveira.  Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe Rabeinu, Dovid haMelech, Shlomo haMelech, and many, many more are not in that list.  They all made mistakes because they pushed themselves to become greater.  There is no shame in making mistakes when the root cause is stumbling while climbing.

Hand in hand with that idea goes the acceptance of tochacha (reproof).  When I make mistakes due to stumbling while climbing I won't feel embarrassed by having them pointed out.  In fact, those who point out those mistakes are my greatest friends.  If I do feel embarrassed, that is an indication to me that I am being arrogant and not climbing.  So either way, it's a win-win situation.  To paraphrase an old commercial: Don't worry about correcting my mistakes; I'll make more.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…