Acharei Mot(Leviticus 16-18)
Admit Your Mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. But it's often hard to admit it. In this week's Torah portion, the Kohen Gadol, the Jewish High Priest leads the people in the Yom Kippur services. Yom Kippur is a day that was set aside for people to come closer to God by admitting that they had done things that were wrong. The Kohen Gadol was directed by God to take the lead by confessing that he also had made mistakes and by asking for forgiveness. Of course God wants to forgive us and let us close to Him. When we admit our mistakes we open the door to let Him into our lives.
In our story, a boy bravely faces his mistake and wins his neighbor's respect.
"A SMASHING SUCCESS"
Old Mr. Green jumped up from his Sunday afternoon nap to the sound of smashing glass. He got up to find a baseball sitting on his living room couch underneath a broken window.
"Oh! Those kids playing ball!" he sighed. "I'm sure they all ran away by now."
Meanwhile, Jack sat huffing and puffing down the block where he had run to hide from Mr. Green.
"What should I do?" he asked his friend Rick. "I can't believe I broke the window. I didn't mean to hit the ball so hard," he added.
"I say, forget about it," shrugged his friend. "We ran away. The old man will never catch us."
"That's not the point," said Jack. "How can I just run away from what I did? Maybe I should go back to Mr. Green's house and confess."
"But aren't you afraid what the old man's gonna say?" Rich asked.
"Sure I am," said Jack. "But it's still the right thing to do."
Mr. Green was just finished sweeping up the broken glass when he heard a soft knock on the door. When he opened it he saw a boy from the neighborhood standing there with his head down. "Yes, Jack. What is it?" he asked.
Jack cleared his throat and said, "Umm, Mr. Green. I'm really sorry I broke your window. It was an accident. Umm, if you want I'll do work for you around the house until I pay for the window."
At first Mr. Green was speechless. Finally he said, "Jack you're a very special boy for admitting what you did. I'm sure we can work something out. Come by after school tomorrow and you can help me with some chores. That should do it."
The next day after Jack finished doing some chores for Mr. Green and was about to leave, the old man called him over and handed him his baseball. He smiled and said, "Jack I don't know how well you can play ball. But the way you acted shows me that you're a winner in the game of life."
Q. How did Jack feel when he broke the window?
A. He was scared that he would be caught and punished for what he did.
Q. So why did he go back to Mr. Green's house?
A. He decided to do the right thing and to admit that he broke the window.
Q. Why didn't Mr. Green yell at Jack when he came to his house?
A. Because he saw that Jack was sorry for what he did and he wanted to set things right. When a person admits his mistakes it usually makes the other person less angry.
Q. Mr. Green called Jack "special." Do you think what Jack did was special?
A. Mr. Green realized how hard it is for a person to own up when he does something wrong. What made Jack special is that he had the courage to do that.
Ages 10 and Up
Q. Why don't people like to admit their mistakes?
A. Because they are concerned what others will think of them.
Q. Who would you respect more, a person who always finds a way to be right, or one who is ready to admit when he's wrong? Why?
A. One who can admit it when he's wrong is more worthy of respect. Nobody's perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but someone who denies it is pretending to be perfect even though he's not. Someone who is ready to admit when he's wrong is humble and honest.