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MORDECHAI, ESTHER AND ELLIOT SPITZER

Rabbi Rafi RankBy Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank

Shabbat Shalom, Everyone.  CyberRav here with a bit of Aural Torah for you!

The Cybershul is an international phenomenon, but this week, we’ll give lie to our New York roots and acknowledge the fact that this has not been an easy week for us New Yorkers.  It seems as if the governor has not been as law-abiding as we would have expected and that his sense of ethics has been seriously compromised.  His adulterous relationship and the illegal actions he took to make that relationship happen, have shaken all New Yorkers whatever their political affiliation.  His decision to resign was in the best interests of the state.  His betrayal of the public trust cut so deep, it would have been all but impossible for him to govern effectively.

Sometimes I wonder what it is that compels great men to self-destruct. 
Is it ego that would fool them into thinking themselves invulnerable? 
Is it arrogance that would have them flaunt both law and ethics and believe that no one will notice?  The fall of Spitzer is a sad episode in the history of New York and in a larger sense, for the entire country.  No one can take joy in so public a fall, or in witnessing the pain caused to his wife, his daughters, or to the citizens of New York.

Great people do not always self-destruct.  I believe we rub shoulders with great people every single day, but we don’t know it, because their moment has not arrived.  Sometimes great people must wait for decades for the right moment but when it happens, their sense of responsibility and courage combine to make a miracle happen.  That was the case with Mordechai and Queen Esther.  Haman actually unlocked their potential, allowing them to shine in a way they never would have had he never proposed his genocidal plan. 

And then there are the people whom we think are great, and they are until their moment arrives, and then they make some foolish decision that serves to undermine and undercut everything they presumably stood for.  This is the sad tale of Governor Spitzer.  There is no such thing as a sin among consenting adults.  Sin is a dirty bomb.  It may explode in a specific spot, but its sickening effects spreads over a wide area.  We are all so intertwined—one sins and his family or neighbor will suffer.

But don’t become discouraged.  That’s a waste of energy.  Remember—the heroes walk among us.  They are here  and maybe you are one of them.  We are all potentail Mordechais and Esthers.  We must live exemplary lives while walking the streets and behind closed doors.

This is Rafi Rank, the CyberRav, wishing you a Shabbat Shalom, and encouraging you to spread a little aural Torah around your Cyber community!


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