This Week's Thought From The Koby Mandell Foundation
- Sherri Mandell
A Soft Heart
In his medical memoir "Complications," Dr. Atul Gawande tells us that many surgeons meet weekly to review and thus improve their performance. They aim to assess their mistakes. Not to blame but to improve.
In the Torah, Pharaoh exemplifies the opposite. Repeatedly, he refuses to learn from the catastrophes that befall him and his entire nation.
In contrast, the ideal of Judaism is that each person reflect on his or her life in order to improve. We hope to rectify our behavior in order to move the world toward ultimate redemption In fact, our sages suggest that each night we review our day to see what we could have done differently, how we can improve.
Pharoah could not change his behavior because his heart was hardened. Some of us, on the other hand, have hearts that are soft, that speak in a voice that says "what I did was not so bad, I don't really have to change."
Perhaps the key to inner growth is the ability to look at ourselves without blame, on the one hand, nor complacency on the other.
The Torah teaches us to learn from the past so that we can find redemption in the future.