Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Confessions

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

Yehudah recognized [his seal, wrap, and staff] and said, “She is more innocent than I am!” (Bereshith 38:26)

Our Sages tell us that the benefits of overcoming one’s pride and admitting the truth are numerous. Because Yehudah admitted the truth even though it was very difficult and uncomfortable for him, his eternal reward was that he and his descendants would be kings of Israel. Moreover, he merited that the artisan of the Tabernacle and its utensils – Betzalel – was his descendent. Many other illustrious Torah personalities also descended from Yehudah.1

Since admitting the truth can be one of life’s most difficult challenges, it is important to cultivate an attitude that will enable us to rise to this challenge when there is a need. Rav Yisrael Salanter had many opponents, and every week when he would deliver his shiur, a representative of his opponents would sit in the front row and contradict him. During one such shiur, just as Rav Yisrael reached a climactic point, the attending representative challenged him with a question that destroyed the whole basis of the shiur. Rav Yisrael paused only briefly, then admitted he was wrong and left the room.

Later, when discussing the incident with his students, Rav Yisrael explained his actions. When the question was presented to him, he immediately formulated several approaches to answer it. They would have satisfied his audience, but as he thought them through, he realized that none of them were emeth le’amitho – the absolute truth. Nevertheless, at first he thought that perhaps, for the sake of the Torah’s honor, he should respond with one of the answers that had come to mind, but he caught himself and thought, “Rav Yisrael, you learn mussar (intense study of ethics); what about the emeth?!” He therefore admitted his error and stepped down.2

When Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer first became Rosh Yeshivah of Etz Chaim, he made an error in both the first and the second shiurim he delivered there. Each time he admitted his error. While he was preparing for his third shiur, it occurred to him that if he were to err again, it might cost him his position. In fact, he did make a mistake in his third shiur, but he decided that the truth was more important than his job, so he admitted it. He did not lose his position, and went on to become one of the Torah giants of his generation.

Footnotes:

1 Yalkut Shimoni Parshath Vayechi 159.
2 Tenuath Mussar 1:326.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON EIKEV:

View Complete List

Healing and Sensitivity
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

All But One
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

On The Heel Of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

> The Work of the Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Heart of Hearts
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

When Serving Dinner
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Watch Your Step
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Steps on a Ladder
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Addressing The Concerns
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

ArtScroll

The Spice Of Life
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

It's Our Home
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Letting Go
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Rabbi Frand on Eikev
- 5768

The Beginning of Wisdom
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Just One Request
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Royalty in Training
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information