||WHAT IS HOLDING BACK MY ZIVUG [TRUE SOULMATE]?
PART EIGHT: ARE YOU ABLE TO RECTIFY?
- Thursday, November 22, '01 - Parshas Vayeitzei 5762
We have been studying Psalm 32 -
which, on a deep level, pertains to preparedness for marriage. Rabbi Shimshon Rafael
Hirsch, in his brilliant and scholarly commentary to Psalms, basically explains the Psalm
to mean: life is to be governed by one's intellect, learn from others who have erred and
suffered as a result (i.e. don't incur punitive suffering yourself), don't be mindless or
stubborn, and give yourself over to G-d with trust in Him and He will reward you
generously with massive kindness.
Sinning against another is not merely defined as causing actual hurt, harm, loss,
damage, embarrassment, pain, waste of time, disrespect, etc. Sinning, when it comes to
your fellow Jew, includes falling short of ALL OF ONE'S POTENTIAL in bestowing kindness,
charity, encouragement, mercy, justice, honor, comfort, helpfulness, concern, rescue,
making other Jews happy, pursuing peace, etc. - actively and constantly - with all one's
might - to all other Jews.
Falling short of our true and full potential is central to Heavenly prosecution against
us (Heaven forbid)...so much so that any shortchanging of any and every Jew of WHAT WE
COULD HAVE GIVEN ON BEHALF OF THE OTHER'S GOOD IS CALLED, IN HEAVEN, "THEFT."
Stealing is not only when A takes something from B. Stealing includes when A withholds
something good from B that A could have bestowed to B!
The Torah fully and uncompromisingly prohibits ever harming any person. Readiness for
marriage requires, and even takes for granted, that one be functionally, consistently and
reliably no cause of harm or neglect to another person. Although you may find this
idealistic, the Torah standards never drop to suit anyone's convenience, especially when
another person is effected negatively by you.
Proverbs (24:16) teaches, "The righteous falls seven times and gets back up."
Being righteous does not mean you never make mistakes. What is the difference between the
righteous and the evil person? When the righteous person falls, he stands right back up -
even if he slips many times. The wicked person is content to stay down in the mud. If a
person ever makes a mistake, at least feel badly about, rectify it and move on - down the
road of the righteous, saying, "Well, there's one more thing I know not to do!"
As time goes on, you make fewer and fewer mistakes and every month you can discern
yourself to be on a slightly higher level than the previous month. He or she works on
faults to constantly reduce human flaws and to achieve higher and higher levels as a
At the very least, one's attitude and basic behavior patterns must not cause or condone
pain, shortchange, embarrassment, disrespect, disappointment, loss or any kind of harm to
or irresponsibility against another person.
If you basically please and benefit other people, feel happy to give to other people,
feel horrified whenever you have occasion to accidentally and inadvertently hurt another
person, are rapid and "on target" to make good and to do tshuva shlaima (full
repentance - to be described in chapter five) and make good on all wrong that you may do,
if as time goes on your mistakes grow more few-and-far-between, and if you basically feel
and exhibit practical concern and respect for other people, then you are in the
The closer a person is to you, the more vulnerable, dependent and helpless the person
can be; and the commensurately higher the level of obligation that the Torah places on you
to be compassionate, helpful, giving, pleasing, responsive, responsible and good to the
closer person. There is no one closer to you or in more need of you than your spouse and
children. The third chapter of Pirkei Avos tell us that the more you are pleasing to other
people, the more you are pleasing to G-d. There is no one more pleased than your pleased
spouse and secure children. There is no one more displeased with you than your displeased
spouse, no one more damaged by you than a spouse or children.
G-d demands that spouses be good to each other, not be bad or harmful to each other. It
is not enough to give good when it is convenient. To be prepared for marriage, each must
be able to NOT FAIL to give all the good that they have the potential to give. Giving less
than all the good one can is considered stealing that good which you might have given. If
one behaves hurtfully, neglectfully or deficiently, the person must be able to rectify
that fault or shortcoming because G-d defines readiness for marriage as being able to GIVE
AS MUCH GOOD AS THE OTHER NEEDS, chasing opportunities to give - even before being asked,
up to one's complete potential and ability.