Habits Kill Hard

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9 Responses

  1. Sarah Shapiro says:

    Bravo, Rabbi Adlerstein!

  2. Garnel Ironheart says:

    It is a sobering reminder that when we rise to God’s challenge, we are little less than angels, yet when we fall prey to our worse inner drives, we are less than angels.

  3. YM says:

    Very thought provoking, but it doesn’t exempt us from our duty to reveal the divine oneness in our thoughts, speech and actions.

  4. Ari says:

    Profoundly true. Thanks for the insight and analysis.

  5. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Excellent piece. I like how you took evil done by our sworn enemies, and turned it into a universal Mussar lesson.

  6. Ahron says:

    >“In the Moreh, the Rambam speaks of beings who are called “demons” by Chazal. He explains that they have the intellectual ability of humans, but live completely outside the norms of civilization. They have the destructiveness of dangerous animals, and the human capacity of planning and strategizing their evil. Hence, they are fully demonic.”

    Believe it or not, there is an excellent fictional example of a similar idea that is very illustrative. Michael Crichton’s classic Jurassic Park envisions extinct dinosaurs brought back to life through genetic technology. His portrayal of one of those species, the velociraptors, is an unexpectedly powerful model of a being with intellectual/cognitive powers–i.e. the ability to adapt, detect danger and opportunity, strategize, and execute complex plans–but absolutely no moral harness whatsoever. The usage of the word “reptilian” reflects this deep human identification of unmoderated intellectual prowess with the coldness of the reptile, and our attendant fear of it.

    The Kotzker, and R. Adlerstein, seem to be saying that reptilian behavior, in the human, ends up being contagious across the spectrum of one’s life.

  7. cvmay says:

    People were surprised at the acts of the Arabs, ABSOLUTELY not.
    Any Torah learner, will find in Parshas Lech Lecha, when the angel of gd relates to Hagar, the maid of Sarei, the personality of her future seed, the offspring of Yishmael. It states, he will be a “PERA ADOM”, all biblical commentators explain, on the outside he will resemble a person, camouflaged over the core of an animal. The behaviours of animals are animalistic!! Thank you, R. Adlerstein for re-reminding us who we are dealing with.

  8. Toby Katz says:

    Arabs have always slaughtered other Arabs by the thousands, in Jordan, in Syria, today in Iraq.

  9. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    The surprising thing is not that there was some gratuitous violence among the Arabs. That should have been known, since it has been going on for many years, even before the advent of the state of Israel. The chidush is where there was not so much violence. Fatah capitulated in Gaza and turned over its weaponry intact to Hamas. For the analysis, see Francisco Gil-White at: http://www.hirhome.com/israel/fatah_hamas.htm . He thinks that there was total collusion between the two and the violence was just in the lower ranks where they were not in on the deal. The leaders could care less, just as Israel’s elite could care less about the people of Sderot or the soldiers fighting in Lebanon after they had been thrown out of their homes in Gush Katif.

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