Do not feel higher morally.

This is one of the most awesome pieces of advice.

(Side note: My cousin Moshe said that awesome is to be used when something is only of partial awe (awe-some). And when something is full of awe? Aweful.)

Anyway, there are two main reasons I can think of that it’s very, very bad to think you’re better than others:

  1. It is dangerous!
  2. You can’t actually know and it’s very possibly not true.

Dangerous? Yeah, when you think you’re better, you very possibly will let yourself slip. Everything might be OK until a serious, terrible challenge comes your way. Then you may be sloppy about your morals. You also might not continue to work on becoming an even better person if you think you’re the most rockingly moral person around.

And the other point, that you don’t really know, is so true! We have all been through our own stuff in life that has brought us to this moment. If, for example, I am so grateful that I grew up in such a strongly moral home, then that doesn’t give me something to be proud of personally but it only means that the expectations of me will be higher than that of someone who built themselves up from a much more difficult background.

Each person is judged individually, not against each other. For one, not stealing is a great accomplishment. For another, it’s nothing to write home about.

Also, by the way, it’s just stuck up to look down on people!

OK, that’s all I have to say about that. How’s the logic? I’m not so sure about it anymore. It made more sense to me until I wrote it down, at least the first point. Please share your thoughts.

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One thought on “Do not feel higher morally.

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  1. I would like to offer my response to the question, “What I love about being Jewish”.

    I was raised in a very orthodox family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY and went to the yeshiva. My working career took me to a different path with the military. I stopped using my teffilin and did not keep shabbot.

    In Oct. 1990 prior to the Gulf War we went to Israel for our 25th anniversary. Many people from our group cancelled their trip because of the war. We decided to go on the trip and leave ourselves in G-d’s hand. In June 1991 I had two heart attaches and a double bypass with a 3% chance of getting off the table alive due to being a heavy smoker.

    I mentioned to my wife that all the stores are open on Sunday and we should try to keep the Sabbath again. She agreed and added another suggestion that we also go to shul every week including the holidays.

    The beauty of being Jewish is that we are given the chance to become a bal chuvah. Some day I will have to answer for my past but my present is working well for me.

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