Baruch Hashem, R' Boruch Leff, a mechanech in Baltimore and writer for Hamodia, Aish.com, and other publications has given me permission to post a series of pieces which quote my rebbe, Rav Moshe Weinberger, from his book Are You Growing?, which is available on Aish's website at a 40% discount here. He asked me to point out that these pieces were not written by Rav Weinberger himself, but represent R' Leff's understanding of things Rav Weinberger said in various shiurim. Rav Weinberger's point in this one is one of my favorite's andf the story is so powerful and true also. Enjoy!
We are allpure and no matter what we do, we remain pure, as we say in the bracha of Elokai, Neshama — my soul is pure-my neshama is tehora, and it remains pure, no matter what I have done which is wrong in my life. This point is unchangeable.Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.
Rav Moshe Weinberger, shlita, once commented that when people hear of or see a frum person doing something wrong, the first reaction that virtually everyone has is, "What a hypocrite! This guy pretends to be so religious for the outside world, but it's just a show. He's a faker. Really, inside he's an evil man. He might as well drop all the mitzvos he does!"
Rav Weinberger said that people only call someone a hypocrite for being a religious hypocrite, doing mitzvos while also sinning in certain areas. Really, we should be telling ourselves the opposite,“Hey, who do you think you are doing such an aveira?! You're such a tzadik!A tzadik like you shouldn't be such a hypocrite by doing that aveira! You might as well drop all the sins that you do!"
People are complicated. A tzadik can be a tremendous tzadik and still, sometimes he falls into his yetzer hara and does something terrible. When we come across instances of frum people doing in appropriate things we should think that frum people who do bad things are basically good people but they had a weak moment in their area of desire. Can I say that I am any better than them in my area of desire?
We are not hypocrites when we sin. We are just being human; normal spiritually frail people who are still trying to grow with passion.
Rav Weinberger was once speaking with a young man who was distressed over thethings he, himself, was doing. The young man said, "I hate myself. I really hate myself." Rav Weinberger responded, "That's impossible.You can't." The bachur answered,"No rebbe, you don't know. I really hate myself."
Rav Weinberger responded, "It's impossible. You cannot possibly hate someone that you've never even met! You may hate the person that you think you are. You may hate the person thatyour rebbeim or parents have told youthat you are. You may have believed them. But you are a neshama tehora, a pure neshoma.You can’t hate the pure soul that you are."