Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mussar: iThink - I Was Wrong (Avos 1:8)

 Rav Hutt

יהודה בן טבאי ושמעון בן שטח קבלו מהם יהודה בן טבאי אומר אל תעש עצמך כעורכי הדיינין וכשיהיו בעלי דינים עומדים לפניך יהיו בעיניך כרשעים וכשנפטרים מלפניך יהיו בעיניך כזכאין כשקבלו עליהם את הדין:

Every culture has its own measure of success and prestige.  Some promote a high grade point average, while others value a high batting average.  One of the highest ranking Jewish aspirations, and in turn accomplishments, is achieving righteousness.  Who earns the title “tzadik?”  It is not the person who never does wrong; rather it's the one who can admit that he was in the wrong.  For example, when two opposing litigants are dismissed from court (even though the decision may only favor one of them), by accepting the judgment, they can both potentially be considered righteous.  And just like most people do not happen to bat 400 or chance upon a 4.0, here as well, practice and self-honesty are necessary.  Hearing someone else confess, "I was wrong," is something that gives us a quick high, but accepting and expressing that "I was wrong," is actually something to feel quite proud of.

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