So none of this is new. There is a passage from the SMA”G (Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, a compendium of the 613 commandments written in the early 13th century by Rav Moshe of Coucy, France), pointed out to me by my colleague Rav Shaul Robinson, that is both frightening and, oddly, comforting. In Mitzvat Aseh 74 – the laws of returning lost objects, he states:
Rather than cast aspersions on others and make sweeping and smug generalizations, we should instead look in the mirror and confront our own failings (and not wait for the FBI or its informants to expose us). And then we will truly become servants of God, a nation renowned for its virtue and piety, and a people worthy of redemption.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey, and the author most recently of “Judges for Our Time: Contemporary Lessons from the Book of Shoftim” (Gefen Publishing House, 2009). He writes at Rabbipruzansky.com.
About the Author: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun of Teaneck, New Jersey, and author, most recently, of “Tzadka Mimeni: The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility” (Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem, 2014). His writings and lectures can be found at www.Rabbipruzansky.com.
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