S.T.A.R. News & Events
Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:
July 20-22, 2012
July 24-26, 2012
Shabbat Parashat: Shelach
Candle Lighting: 7:49pm
Shabbat Ends: 8:51pm
The Disease To Please
"â€¦we were like grasshoppers in their eyesâ€¦" (13:33)
Two actors are sitting in a beat-up coffee shop on Sunset Strip.
One is telling the other about the jobs he almost got, the jobs his agent messed up on, the jobs he should have got but he was too old, he was too young, too dark, too tall, too short. He carries on like this for about twenty minutes. Then he pauses and says to the other, “Okay, that’s enough about me. Now you talk about me for a while.”
I remember a school friend who used to spend a good ten minutes on his hair in the mirror trying to achieve a spontaneous effect.
It’s not just that narcissism is a very obvious and unattractive aspect of conceit, but it places someone in a world of reaction instead of action.
When we fall prey to the desire for the approbation of others, every decision becomes tainted with the disease to please. Rather than consider what is right, we may be equally or even more concerned about how it will look, how it will read to others.
Our age has even invented a profession for people whose job is to gauge and garner the approval of the masses â€“ the Spin Doctor. Just like a doctor, the Spin Doctor diagnoses and prescribes. He diagnoses how a political decision will be received and he prescribes how to get the masses to swallow the medicine.
The task of the Jewish People is to be the emissaries of G-d in this world.
G-d’s imprimatur is pure unvarnished truth.
As the verse states, “G-d is a G-d of Truth.” The Hebrew word for “truth” is emet. Emet consists of the first, the middle, and the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Truth is only true if it is true at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. If you ‘spin’ it to the side anywhere along the line â€“ it’s not what the Torah calls true.
"We were like grasshoppers in their (the giants’) eyesâ€¦"
The Kotzker Rebbe identifies this line in this week’s Torah reading as the root of the spies’ sin. Why were the spies thinking about how they looked to the giants?
As the emissaries of the Jewish People â€“ and as Jews themselves â€“ they should have had no interest other than to bring back an accurate report about the Land. Who cares about what other people thought about them?
The mere fact that they viewed themselves from the outside skewed their judgment and led them to create a world of illusion – a self-produced movie – which resulted in the greatest debacle in Jewish history.
All because of a little preening in the mirror.
Rabbi M. Weiss Rabbi Y. Sakhai
Em Habanim Congregation
Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com
Em Habanim Sephardic Congregation is pleased to make available its elegant venue for your celebration. Excellent location with easy access to freeways. For more info. visit emhabanim.com