Friday, March 18, 2016

Change Yourself Change The World

In this week's parsha, Vayikra, we read how if a person transgressed against Hashem, by being dishonest to another person. "When he realizes that he sinned and that he is guilty," first he must correct the wrong and only after can he go through the process to receive atonement.

Here one person is being dishonest to another, why does the Torah call it a transgression against Hashem? What does "when he realizes that he sinned" mean, doesn't he know that he is being dishonest?

When two make a business deal without a contract and without witnesses, and one is dishonest and swindles his partner. He feels confident doing so because no one else was there. But in truth there was a third one there, Hashem! His dishonesty is not only against his friend, but, even more, it is a denial of Hashem's existence.

There is a deeper level of dishonesty, being dishonest with yourself. This is when you knowingly underestimate your potential. You know what abilities Hashem has given you. Are you using all your abilities? Are you maximizing your potential? You have the ability to make a difference, to change the world for the better. Hashem has given you these gifts just for this purpose. And not using them for this, is an affront to Hashem.

Dishonesty finds its roots in selfishness. Not being able to see anyone but yourself. When everything is about "me," it is impossible to use your potential for Hashem, because your abilities are busy satisfying your selfishness. Whether your dishonesty is against a friend or yourself, it is very difficult to correct the situation, because being selfish means I am right. Being selfish means I deserve it, everyone owes me, me me me.

The only way out of this situation, is for the person to realize on his own, to acknowledge that he sinned, and to admit his guilt. Only then can he begin to make amends, first to his friends, and then to Hashem.

For many of us, it is so difficult to admit that "I was wrong." On the other hand doing so and apologizing is freeing and endearing. When one partner is selfish there is no relationship. When you make room for the other to exist, the relationship begins, first with the other, and then with Hashem.

We are now at the end of this dark exile which was brought on because of senseless hatred for one another. This hatred is also routed in selfishness. If we can find a way to overcome selfishness and make room for another and recognize Hashem. Then we will be well on our way to friendship, closeness to Hashem, filling our potential and bringing Moshiach.


  1. Nice. Interesting re. being dishonest with oneself.

  2. Nice. Interesting re. being dishonest with oneself.