0 Posted by - November 25, 2015 - Breishit, Parsha


Parashat Vayishlach


We are judged for everything we do. But, that judging is so complex, because it means taking into consideration each individual person in his own, particular life, factoring in where they came from and in what given circumstances they find themselves. The same action can be a merit in one set of circumstances and a minus in another. This is why only G-d can judge, because only He knows.

Yaakov arranged his 11 children for the meeting with Esav. Where was Dina? He put her in a closed box, so that Esav would not be able to see her, and for doing so, for holding her back from meeting Esav, Yaakov was punished, for she may have been able to influence him to mend his ways. Because of this, she fell in the hands of Shechem. (Rashi)

This is hard to understand. The Talmud tells us (Pesachim 49) that “Anyone who marries off his daughter to a materialistic fellow, it is as if he is tying her up and placing her in front of a lion.” We do not say that a father should give his daughter to a materialistic fellow to be a positive influence and make him spiritual. So, how do we understand that Yaakov was held accountable for keeping his daughter from Esav?

The Hazon Ish answers that G-d knew that Dinah could have helped Esav repent. Only a Yaakov, on his high level of Ruach Hakodesh, could have been accountable for not taking this into consideration. Anyone else would not have been punished for such a thing at all. Quite the contrary. It is irresponsible to give your daughter to a man who is so materialistic.

You need to know who you are. You need to know what level you are on. It could be that what the person next to you is doing is, for him, a noteworthy deed; but in your case, that same act is looked down upon in Heaven. It could be that what is inappropriate for your neighbor is what is expected of you. The problem is that people do not have their identity straight; they do not know who they are and what the Torah expects from them on their level. Or, even worse, they do not have a Rabbi.

There is a rule in life. We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. We project our identity on the world we see, viewing it through our own, very subjective perspective. But that is not the world we live in. The world we see is just our map of the territory, not the territory itself. When we look over our shoulder to see what the next person is up to, our perception of what is going on with him is the product of our own “take” on his situation, and it has nothing to do with objective reality.

In coaching, it is the easiest thing to tell a person what you think is the solution to his problem. But that is the worst thing that a coach can do. Because your map that you are using to give him directions is not the same map that the person is reading. At best, it is your map of his map. Coaching is about discovering the “lies”, the discrepancies between the map and the territory of your client. Once the coach achieves this, the client can figure out how to figure things out on his own. He doesn’t and didn’t need anyone to “tell him” where to go and what to do. He just needed to find the “lie” in his story.

This is why you need a Rabbi. He can tell you the truth, the absolute Torah truth. A rabbi can see through the eyes of the Torah and tell you, precisely, what the territory is.

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