Friday, February 20, 2009

Parshas Mishpatim

I’ve realized that the hardest people to deal with are those that are very strong in their opinion and think they’re always right. They can be so set in their path, that they won’t even listen to what anyone else has to say. Now this can be very hard, since they aren’t open to hear anything else, no matter if they are right or wrong. My professor used the example of someone who’s been taught that “homo” is evil, will think its evil, and no matter how much “rationality” you give them, they won’t be able to accept it, because they have a bias already.

Something to say:

Do not accept a bribe (23:8)

The Torah tells us that bribery blinds the eyes of those who can see and distorts the words of righteous people. Such is the power of favors that create bias.

The Avnei Nezer comments that there is a major difference between a person who is actually blind and one who is prejudiced because of a bribe or bias. A blind person knows he can’t see and will ask for help when he needs it; but a biased person can be prejudiced to such an extent that he doesn’t even realize that his sense of reality has become distorted. He feels that his twisted view is the true one, and he will not listen to anyone else’s logic.

Now this is why a bribe can be such a bad thing, since the person isn’t even aware of what the affects the bribe has on him. He becomes biased and won’t be open to hear any other information.