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Wisdom That Cannot Be Acquired At An Ivy League University

I know a Jewish man who hails from Riverdale. He is from a prominent family and is a brilliant guy!! He received an almost perfect score on his SAT's [1590. I personally didn't get one answer wrong on my SAT's. My secret? Didn't take it...], studied at Princeton [a true Jewish Prince] and then received a PERFECT score on his LSAT'S and attended Harvard Law School. Ahhhh, "Yiddeshe Nachas"!!

He then worked at a high powered law-firm before deciding to enter the world of politics. He loved going after white-collar criminals. He was determined to make a change and inject more morality and honesty into the public sphere. A man on a mission. Well spoken, handsome and an all around impressive figure.

Then he was elected Governor of New York. Mazel Tov! What is next? The White House maybe?! The sky is the limit. [I don't know what the big deal is with getting to the White House. Paint your house white and you can have one, too.]

And then CRAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!!!!!!!!!!

Ya know, King David was on to something when he said "Reishis chochma - yiras Hashem" - The beginning of wisdom is fear of G-d. A person can be brilliant, articulate, charismatic and talented and yet live like an animal. No, worse. An animal has no control over himself. He lives on instinct. A human being who doesn't exercise his ability to restrain his impulses is far inferior. We must START with fear of G-d. Afterwards some good may come from fancy degrees.

PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG. I am not gloating over the moral failings and public humiliation of another person. I just want to use his story as a reminder that for a Jew, success is not defined by the measure of power he wields or by the dimensions of his bank account but the by degree of godliness and sanctity with which he conducts his life. Everything else is secondary. Too many people that I know worship professional success as the end all of life. That is a critical error.

I give him a heartfelt bracha that he should see the light of purity and holiness and return to his roots. Then he will be truly wise.

Love and Blessings to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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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