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Reflections on "Hayom Yom" Tevet 10

Unchecked ego is a cause of divisiveness.

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2 Comments
LaDonna Mosier January 7, 2020

OK, but that brings up a question. Anyone who has ever gone to some kind of counseling has been told to reformulate the way in which they say things. Instead of, "You always" do this-or-that, or, "Why are you so inconsiderate" or whatever,people are told to use "I" statements. In this particular application obviously no one is having an argument, but isn't it better to say, "I think" than it is to make a completely declarative statement like, "Torah tells us..."? Because my interpretation of a given passage/mitzvah could be wrong, so by framing my comment in a way that makes it sound like there is no room for argument and I am absolutely right in what I just said, aren't I being a bit prideful?
BTW, I just love Rabbi Steiner. He is always such a joy to listen to. Reply

Rabbi Moshe Steiner January 9, 2020
in response to LaDonna Mosier:

Dear LaDonnna,

Your point is understood. Qualifying your opinion by first stating that it
is your opinion can certainly be helpful in presenting yourself in
conversation in a more modest and humble way.

I think the Tzach Tzedek is adressing the person's perception of self and
the internal conversation that is happening parallel to the conversation
with another person. While engaged in a conversation, your mind is
processing your own opinion and (hopefully) the opinion of the other person.

But if your mind keeps on going to what "I say" and what "I think" then you
aren't really paying attention to the other person. This would be an
internal ego problem that cannot be addressed by merely using verbal
qualifiers in the conversation ("this is just my opinion").

The Chassidic "avodah" of personal character refinement is then necessary.

Hope this clarifies. Thank you for your positive feedback! Reply