Tammuz 8
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Tammuz 8

Hatred arouses strife, whereas love can cover up for all sins (Proverbs 10:12).

What are facts? What is reality? Often they are what we think they are, much like an optical illusion, such as a diagram that can look like the upper or lower surface of a staircase, depending on how we view it.

We often demonstrate our subjectivity when we make evaluations of other people. For example, if we do not like someone with a personality trait of rigidity, we may consider him "as stubborn as a mule." If, however, we admire him, he becomes "a person with great integrity who will never yield on a principle." In both cases, we sincerely believe that we are being thoroughly objective.How we feel towards others can profoundly affect how we interpret their behavior, yet our true feelings may be repressed and hidden even from ourselves. This phenomenon is most likely to occur with people who are closest to us. Although parents, children, spouses, and siblings may feel profound affection for their family members, they may be unaware of some repressed negative feelings which may manifest themselves with their finding fault with these family members. They may be unaware that what they are critical of (which they assume to be "fact") is actually a distorted conclusion due to a misperception, which is itself brought about by repressed negative feelings towards their loved ones. In fact, their love itself may cause them to repress negative feelings, which then find circuitous ways of expressing themselves.

Today I shall...

be hesitant in criticizing faults in others and be aware that the fault that I see in others may be due to my misperceptions.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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