Yossi reads the headlines: "Rabbi Ploni involved in major
Yossi emits a groan, "Why should I be frum if a big
rabbi like that can do such a terrible thing?"
* * *
Shlomo was davening with intense devotion. Suddenly
Mr. Almoni pushed past him, nearly sending him flying.
Shlomo muttered, "With people like him around, it is not
surprising that people drop out of frumkeit!" as he
watched with disgust as Mr. Almoni disappeared into the
* * *
In both situations, we can try to find mitigating
circumstances for Rabbi Ploni and Mr. Almoni's apparent
wrongdoings. Perhaps the newspaper is incorrect. Perhaps
Rabbi Ploni is innocent. Perhaps Mr. Almoni is a member of
Hatzolah and he is rushing to an emergency.
However, another important problem is that in both
situations, someone made his adherence to Judaism dependent
on someone else's behavior.
No one is perfect. Different people have different priorities
and what might seem important to one person might seem
trivial to another person. Mass media is quick to look for
scandals. But our emunah must be based on a direct
relationship with HaKodosh Boruch Hu. He gave us the
Torah at Har Sinai through Moshe Rabbeinu. Each of us
has his own obligation to fulfill in this world and that
obligation is absolute. We are working for our own
fulfillment and just because someone else seems to be
spoiling things for himself does not mean that we have to
The hashkofo we need to instill in our children and
talmidim (and ourselves) must be based on absolute
allegiance to the Torah, independent of the behavior of other
The 13 Tenets of Faith list the essentials of our
emunah. We say them every day in the Yigdal and
some people also read through the list after
Shacharis. Nowhere does it say that Toras Moshe
is true because Rabbi Ploni and Mr. Almoni are nice people
and lead exemplary lives.
Yossi and Shlomo's hashkofa and emunah need to
be so strong that even when faced by the Rabbi Plonis and Mr.
Almonis around them, they realize that they have to do what
is correct and according to the Torah.