It happened to Abimelech, the king of Gerar, when he kidnapped the matriarch Sarah. Abraham says of Abimelech, “For I have seen there is no fear of God in this land, for they would kill me on the account of my wife.” The Malbim interprets this as meaning that no matter how influential and intelligent one is, absent the fear of heaven one can potentially commit the most heinous crimes.

It happened to Pharaoh of Egypt who lost an entire kingdom. His notorious indomitableness resulted from a loss of reason, which impeded his senses and prudence.

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It’s happened countless times throughout history. Sadly, it is bound to happen again because sin waits at the door.

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Rav Fingerer is mora d'asra of BJX Beis HaMedrash & Kiruv Centers. A chinuch and kiruv expert, he is also the author of “Strengthen Your Emunah” (Feldheim) and “Search Judaism” (Targum).