Friday, September 5, 2014

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

This weeks parsha, Ki Seitzei, tells us: "If there is a quarrel between  (two) men, who come to court to be judged, the innocent one will be acquitted and the guilty one will be condemned."

In the Torah there is nothing extra. Here, however, there seems to be extra words. The verse starts "If there is a quarrel" it could have started "men, who come to court..." Isn't it obvious that there is a dispute, when two men come to court?

Then it continues "the innocent one will be acquitted and the guilty one will be condemned." What other option is there? Isn't that what a court ought to do?

This is a special case. First the two men were quarreling, from the fighting a dispute arose. When they come to court the judges recognize that this case started as a quarrel. They might be tempted to deal with the true underlying issue instead of judging the case at hand. The Torah tells the court to judge the case properly. 

There is a message here for us all. Don't think that quarreling with a friend is ok. Ultimately it will escalate and you will end up in court. Your case will not be judged according to your feelings but by the law. 

We each need to think about our relationships. Is it really worth fighting with friends and family. How many of us haven't spoken to a friend or, even worse, a family member for a long time because of some petty matter?

Don't let it come to that. Wether you feel innocent or guilty in the situation, it's not worth the constant fighting, bickering and hurting. 

Sometimes we lose focus, forgetting that HaShem puts us in our situation. We start to feel negative about ourselves and everyone around us.  Then the quarreling begins.    

Practice recognizing HaShem's hand in all that happens. It will keep you positive. 

Life is short. Be positive and easy to get along with. Be a good friend and good family. Let the petty stuff slide. Be happy, friendly and smile a lot.

You will positively change the world for the good, and you will bring out the positive In those around you. 

(I would like to thank my wife Dina for her input in writing this post.)


  1. Thank you Rabbi and Dina for continuing to inspire us every week! During your Shabbat speeches or our classes you discussed this important thought, The month of Elul it is a time to ask forgiveness to those we could misjudged or hurt during the past year. To often our pride block us from doing this. We think , " I am 100% right in this disagreement, and they are 100% wrong". Once we let down this protective mechanism, the next step is possible, to ask forgiveness and establish a better relationship.

  2. Thanks for creating this blog, Rabbi.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Jay Schwartz in SanDiego