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It's not my fault!

Thursday, 20 February, 2020 - 9:37 pm

Whether it’s forgetting their lunch at home or misplacing their MP3 Player, Chavie and I always remind the kids of their responsibilities. Yes, parents are responsible for a lot, but children need to appreciate their own value, their wisdom and abilities, recognizing that they can, and should, care for certain aspects of their life. It’s vital that we all understand that even if something isn’t “our fault”, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t our “responsibility”. You may have planned for a different outcome or these results may have been out of your control, still, that doesn’t remove our accountability for the reality and being straightforward as to how it happened.  

In this Mitzvah-laden Torah portion, Mishpatim, we read lots about human behavior, including the detail-packed laws of monetary loans and the laws of damages. Whether it’s lighting a fire that spread, owning a dangerous animal that gores, creating a public hazard of any kind, owning a harmful object on private property or serving as a guardian for a friends’ item and losing it, the Torah, elaborated mostly in the large Talmudic tractate of Bava Metziah, guides us for each scenario and what our obligations and consequences would be accordingly.

It’s hard to convey to our children the ethic of personal responsibility, the ethic of integrity, when CEO’s, politicians and, sadly, many religious leaders, don’t take responsibility for their actions and simply blame someone, or something, else for their missteps. G-d doesn’t demand our perfection, He just expects us to be honest with ourselves and others. Lao Tzu wrote “A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.”

Stop passing the buck; it’s on you!


May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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