Values & Ethics - Through a Jewish Lens

DECEIVING OURSELVES…

TORAH PORTION: KI TAYTZAY

ki-taytzay“You can run, but you can’t hide”. We all have our demons, the parts of ourselves that we wish were better or wish didn’t exist within us. The best way to deal with them is to acknowledge their reality, confront them, and challenge them. Only then do we stand a chance of working them out of our system.

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Taytzay, contains a wonderful mitzvah. We are instructed to return lost objects that we may find lying in the street. Though I may be appreciative of this when I am the owner who lost the wallet, it’s not always an easy mitzvah to fulfill when I’m the finder. The Torah therefore reminds us, “You shall not be able to ignore it”, a profound reminder of your obligation.

Addicts always lie about their addictions, even when it seems comical to the observer. Denying the reality of the addiction is an inherent part of the disease. When it comes to correcting mistakes or dealing with our issues of anger, bigotry, or even lesser things like a desire to get in shape, the first step is acknowledgment. The issue must be confronted directly. Don’t look for other people or situations to blame, and don’t make excuses for mistakes. Take ownership of the issue and tackle it. You can succeed at overcoming it.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS about being not deceiving themselves.

CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:

  • Why does the Torah say that you won’t be able to ignore a lost object?
  • Who benefits from my action when I pick up the wallet and return it?
  • Give an example of something that you can choose to blame on a friend but could also take responsibility for.

By Rabbi Moshe Becker

Values & Ethics—Through a Jewish Lens is created by Fred and Joyce Claar to bring the wisdom of Judaism into family discussions.

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