web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A message from an ambassador of the Palestinian Authority, Israel's "peace partner."
Palestinian Authority Envoy to Tehran Says Israel will be Destroyed
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Why is the tzitzis reminder on our clothing? How does it remind us that there are 613 mitzvos?

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The court cannot solely rely on death certificates issued by non-Jewish institutions without conducting its own investigation into the facts of the case.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

Rabbi Sacks

Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with age and everything to do with names

Slavery was universal; So, why was Egypt targeted in this object lesson?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

The first requirement is a king must admit when he is wrong.

Reward And Punishment
‘Masser Rishon For The levi’im’
(Yevamos 86a)

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)

Reb Shlomo Zalman could not endure honorifics applied to him because of his enormous humility

Because we see these events as world changing, as moments in history, they become part of us forever.

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

She was determined that the Law class was Dina’s best chance of finding a husband, and that was the real reason she wanted her to go to college.

But who would have ever guessed that Hashem would unlock the key to the birth on same day as the English anniversary of our wedding.

More Articles from Rabbi David Hertzberg
Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

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

Hertzberg-112114-Timing

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.

Although famous for his smile, Ike Eisenhower actually harbored a volcanic temper that he worked arduously to control.

Why did we merit exiting the gas chamber alive when so many others did not?

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: