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Thoughts On O.J.

News item: O.J. is in trouble again! If convicted he might spend at least the next thirty years in the slammer. He is 60 years old. That means [in all likelihood] the rest of his life behind bars. Isn't O.J. stupid?!

Of course he is! [But please don't stop drinking orange juice. It has great health benefits and tastes great. Always better for you than Coke or Pepsi.]

But wait! Don't we stand before Hashem every Yom Kippur promising to improve yet we stand before Hashem the following year knowing full well that we repeated the same sins of the previous years. Same lashon hara, same lack of concentration when we daven, same time wasting, same feelings of animosity towards others.

Solution: Have a plan! Don't just resolve to change but think of a concrete plan to implement your resolutions. For example, change some friends, get close to a tzaddik, go to a different shul, make a new daily chavrusa etc. etc. Figure out what caused you to sin in the first place and then you can attempt to prevent that "primal cause", thus averting sin.

Good luck. It ain't easy.

another thing to learn from the current o.j. saga is that you cannot hide from hakadosh baruch hu! He managed to get away from a jury of basar ve'dam, protected by the system of double jeopardy, but hashem just found a way to get him back in the courtroom, and probably behind bars for real this time. this is also related to yom kippur- we cannot get away with our aveiros! we have to do honest teshuva, and pay in some measure. we cannot run away from responsibility, it will catch up someday. ha kadosh baruch hu works in funny ways...

I note that all 4 of your suggestions for change involve changing the people you associate with.

Gmar chatima tova

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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