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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.

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