web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshat Re’eh

Hertzberg-080213

The Sefer Haikarim illustrates this point with Shaul’s response to Shmuel’s indictment of his failure to kill the king of Amalek (Shmuel I:15). Shaul initially refused to concede that he failed to fulfill Hashem’s command. Shmuel quickly pointed out that Shaul’s failure to accept responsibility was an even worse crime. Finally realizing that he was wrong, Shaul confessed his guilt and admitted his mistake—almost. In his defense Shaul attempted to provide context for his mistake by claiming that he feared his people. Rav Yosef Albo underscores that, sadly, even once he recognized that a mistake was made, Shaul was unable to accept personal responsibility. At most he admitted to being an agent of error, but not the cause of the error. Upon seeing and hearing Shaul’s perception of the events, Shmuel realized that Shaul did not possess the character to be king. While it is certainly important for a king to be aware of his people’s feelings and concerns, he must not be led by them. In contemporary parlance he must form public opinion—not respond to it. In contrast to Shaul, David HaMelech, always admitted his mistakes and even more so, in the tradition of his forefather Yehuda, always accepted responsibility.

All of us must take this message to heart. As Elul begins we must perform an honest self-evaluation, no matter how uncomfortable this might be, be brutally honest in identifying our mistakes (as well as accurately identifying our strong points) and then accept responsibility. If we succeed in this endeavor we will be on the right path toward sincere repentance. Beyond the realm of repentance, this approach is essential for leaders. Leaders must be sensitive to changing conditions, conscious of their own errors and accept blame when appropriate and responsibility all the time. General Lee failed in this regard at Gettysburg. He never fully acknowledged that his strategy was wrong (just that it didn’t succeed at the specific time) and he seems to never have really believed that it was his fault. Indeed, leaders have what to learn from Lee’s behavior at Gettysburg.

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division and is an adjunct assistant professor of History at Touro College.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Parshat Re’eh”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.
Netanyahu Visits Western Wall before Leaving for US
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

More Articles from Rabbi David Hertzberg
Hertzberg-021315

The Torah presents us with a model of how to effect change in a sustainable way.

Hertzberg-011615-Gen-Haig

Three years of war and the loss of one-tenth of Britain’s men is not too great a price to pay.

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

Realizing that his death was immanent and he had only a few more moments, Moshe focuses on doing the most important thing: he runs to Bnei Yisrael and blesses them.

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshat-reeh/2013/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: