The Petraeus Profile

How we can understand why this happened.

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Comments (13)

(11) Daniel Sheinfeld, November 27, 2012 4:17 PM

Great take away message. It is very hard to decipher whether we are rationalizing or making a logical decision. I think we have to set clear principles and then create clear (like someone said before) guardrails or fences. We must stand by these principles and not compromise them. I think we make too many decisions "under fire" or with emotion. We have to learn to calm down and think clearly.

(10) Jim Ernst, November 25, 2012 4:28 PM


There are thousands of hearing loss out there would love to hear you sharing the Kabbalah. I cant understand you nor read your lip. Please add the subtitle before I donate the funds. Thank you....Jim

(9) Deborah, November 23, 2012 6:13 PM

Rationalizations aren't possible if we set up guardrails.

If we all put guardrails in place in our lives, well before we enter dangerous territory, we are so much less likely to avoid the ditch on the other side. The problem is we wait until we get on a dangerous path and then we begin the art of rationalizing. Guard your heart and minds, the words of the writer of the book of Hebrews. No matter your faith, we all must realize temptations are big and many. If we don't place guardrails around the different arenas of our lives, we ALL carry the very great burden of venturing off the curvy road called life right into a ditch of immorality. Where have you placed guardrails: I will not be alone with someone of the opposite sex, I will not purchase something on credit, I will not make business decisions without sharing with someone outside my business and listening to their advice, I will have an accountability partner. Guardrails extend into every arena of our lives - or should.

(8) Sanford J. Goodman, November 21, 2012 5:11 AM

I thought I would always get away with going over the speed limit

On the night of October 23rd-24th this year my wife, Chana, & I were driving from Dallas TX to Houston (TX). As the clock stuck midnight Chana sang "happy birthday" to me. Then one minute later there was a vehicle with flashing blue, red, and white lights pulling me over. Sure enough I got a magnificent birthday gift from the state of Texas—my first speeding ticket in 34 years! The state trooper told me that he clocked me at 83 mph in a 75 mph zone. This is only 8 miles over the speed limit! Usually the police give motorists a 10 mph leeway. The reality was that I went into the left hand lane and was passing up all the vehicles on the right. I think that if I had been just keeping up with traffic I would not have been pulled over. As we continued the trip I maintained 80 mph which was only 5 miles over the limit. Mind you, this is not the first time I exceeded the speed limit; it's the first time I had been CAUGHT in 34 years! For 34 years I rationalized the following way: (1) everyone else goes over the limit. (2) The police are looking for those going 15, 20, 25, and 30 over the limit. I'm just small potatoes. Well this time my luck ran out. Sandy Goodman, Dallas Texas P.S. The 3 biggest lies: (1) The check's in the mail (2) I'm from the IRS and I'm here to help you, (3) Officer, this is my first time speeding.

(7) Randy, November 20, 2012 7:20 PM

Respectfully disagree

Although a goyim, I LOVE And visit it frequently. Regarding Rabbi Salomon's perspective concerning the General's moral failure, I would respectfully suggest that that is the secondary cause, and that the primary cause is that age old problem, PRIDE! This issue is frequently addressed Proverbs and has been the source of fall of many "mighty" men, including one who was a mighty warrior and later a great king!

(6) richard, November 20, 2012 6:09 PM

Once again, Rabbi Salomon is spot on!

Thank you Rabbi. You woke us up once more to the truth about life. NOTHING goes unnoticed in the big book "upstairs".

(5) Anonymous, November 20, 2012 5:24 PM

Not only rationalization - temptation

While I agree with your conclusion I think that these two people were in a situation of "temptation in harm's way". Two people of opposite sexes spending time alone together leads to destruction as demonstrated by this incident. it is to prevent this that we have laws of Yichud.

(4) Abraham L. Seiman, November 20, 2012 4:50 PM

" We the people of the United States" ( and General Petraeus is one of us), unfortunately, cannot conquer all of our desires, no matter what position that we hold or the consequences of our actions. We are all human beings and have the same capacities for sinning. General Petraeous is no exception and, just as some of us can forgive transgressions, we should be a mature enough to do the same.

(3) Kivi, November 20, 2012 4:14 PM

Is Rationalization the Core Issue? I don't think so.

The question to ask is WHY do we rationalize? What is driving us to dream up justifications for actions we know are wrong? It seems there is something driving us to escape what we know is true and embrace what we wish were true. It seems to me there's a dissatisfaction with the way we are that's leading us to make the rationalization and act against our better judgement. So, why not address the core issue of our dissatisfaction with the way we are, the way things are. Work to see ourselves and our lives from a more positive perspective. Focus on what's amazing in the way we are, in what we have around us, and pursue what truly brings joy. It would seem that addressing the rationalizing, and attempting to bring it to a grinding halt would not end the drive to escape our status quo. That drive, if left unaddressed, would ultimately win and we would once again begin to rationalize. The goal is to be happy with life, with ourselves, with G-d's plan, and thereby not leave the values we hold precious and end up where we really don't want to be.

(2) Chavi, November 19, 2012 1:24 AM

I just don't get it. Bill Clinton, while running for the highest office in the United States of America, a position that requires the utmost in discretion and intelligence, had a very public, sordid affair. And you know what happened to him? He was sentenced to serve eight whole years in the White House!! Can someone please explain this to me? Why is everyone getting so bent out of shape now?

Julia, November 20, 2012 11:10 PM

Clinton's infidelity

Some people voted for Clinton because they really liked his politics, and others voted for him because they really didn't like the Republicans. In both cases, people are more concerned about their economic issues than other people's sex lives and immorality ( although they might sympathize with the betrayed spouse). To an extent I agree: Give me a choice between an anti Israel politician who's faithful to his wife, and a womanizer who stands by Israel, I will stand by Israel.

(1) Julia Arango, November 18, 2012 8:37 PM

A Tragedy

I don't usually concern myself with other people's sex lives, although I do feel sympathy for the betrayed spouse. But when you work in intelligence , IT'S DIFFERENT. You have to live your life so as to avoid the slightest possibility of offering enemies something to blackmail you with. As Gen. Petreus was the Head of the CIA, part of his job was to set the standard. An agent in the field probably would have been fired for setting him/herself up for blackmail. The same for Paula Blackburn, who is a LIEUTENANT COLONEL in the US Army reserve. She had a Top Secret clearaance, and she KNOWS better than TO BRING CLASSIFIED documents out of a secured area. She KNOWS she can' t have classified info on her personal computer at home. Both of them should have realized that with modern technology, NOBODY can say "Nobody will ever find out." If you or I get caught having an affair, the world might not care, but if you're the head of the CIA, or an Army officer, others do care and will make it public.Rabbi Solomon is right, I probably rationalize a lot of my behavior, but most of us are not putting national security at risk. And what's with the threatening e-mails to Ms Kelly? And it's so convenient that Gen P resigned right before the hearings on Bengazi. This situation is a tragedy for many reasons.

Robert macPherson, November 21, 2012 3:01 AM


I agree most radicaly, you are so right , and I want to hear you again and again,.


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