Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Entire Person

Continuing the thought from the previous post:

Years back I had a Shabbos guest. A really sweet, likable boy. Sometime after he left we realized that 3,000 shekel was missing. I knew it was him but didn't make a fuss about it. Not because I was rolling in it and didn't care because frankly - even very wealthy people don't like to randomly have 3,000 or even 300 shekel taken from then. But I didn't say anything for whatever reason and decided to let it pass.

Fast forward a few years. He sends me an email, confesses, apologizes and returns the money. WOW!

I can easily judge him and say "How can you take money that doesn't belong to you without permission?" But I really don't feel that way. I personally don't have a yetzer hara to steal. Once, in a baseball game I stole second base and have felt guilty ever since [I made that one up]. But he obviously did. I don't understand it, can't relate but that doesn't mean that it was not real for him.

Or let us say that someone is homosexual. How can he have such desires, we straight guys ask ourselves? We can't relate. But again, that doesn't mean that he is not in that place. [That doesn't justify forbidden behavior - it just allows us to see that others are having battles in areas where we haven't the slightest inclinations].

So again - everybody has different struggles and even if you can't identify that doesn't mean that it is not real for them.

I often hear of people who are addicited to looking at inappropriate things. I personally find such behavior disgusting, repugnant and abhorrent. You couldn't pay me enough to be interested in such things even if they were permitted. But how can I judge others with different brain chemisrtry, experiences etc.? Again - that doesn't justify abberrant behavior. Wrong is wrong and sin is sin and that must be exceedingly clear. But that doesn't mean that we can't accept that for this person it is a battle that he lost.

So even if one sins and sins badly we can still apply the dictum הוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות.

כל האדם - All of man in his totality. Such a judgment will invariably end up favorably.