Monday, December 12, 2016

See The Repercussions

People must always try to foresee the repercussions of their decisions. 

For example: Before a person decides to get divorced he/she has to think of how this will affect the children and take that into account when he makes his decision. We don't live on an island. Everything we do affects those around us. Just because he/she is suffering that doesn't necessarily mean that he should take steps to end his own suffering [or see he thinks] but inflict suffering on others. I am not saying that one should never get divorced. I am just giving an example of taking other people into account before acting. There are other people on this planet besides ourselves. Actually, the other people are the majority. 

The vast, vast majority. 

I have an acquaintance from decades ago who is a rabbi and educator. I read a recent interview with him where he "came out of the closet" and announced that he is no longer Orthodox [a la Mattisyahu] and he took a pulpit in a "synagogue" without a mechitza.

I don't know his reasons and those he gave in the interview were so silly that I can't believe them for a second. I also know that he has had a rough time over the years and it probably took its toll. I also know that at least when I knew him he wasn't the most stable of personalities [nor is Mattisyahu] so it makes sense that such a person would make such a radical change.

My problem is what this will do to all of the people he influenced over  the years. If he strengthened them religiously and now he is no longer religious [at least in the traditional Jewish sense], how will that affect their religiosity? Did he think of that? I can see people having serious crises. What about his wife and children? To be a חוטא is one thing but a מחטיא is LITERALLY unforgivable [as the gemara says and Rambam paskens]. 

When a certain rabbi in Israel who had thousands of devotees and was on the road to becoming chief rabbi was found guilty in court of getting "too close" to some of his male students, many, many young people had severe religious crises. People were shattered. Here was their pipeline to G-d who was revealed to be ... I don't want to say.  Did he consider that before he acted??

It bothers me to no end when people who are role models abandon their roles and leave people in the dark with nowhere to turn. 

Again - I don't know why my former acquaintance turned his back on observance of mitzvos and I also don't know whether the second rabbi is really guilty [he denies it]. But the point I want to make is that we must always remember that people are watching us and our behavior will affect others. The more influential the person - the more careful he must be. 

It breaks my heart to see people who could do so much good, instead do so much harm.