Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The extent of personal accountability


"Know before Whom you will have to give an accounting for your deeds."
(Pirkei Avot 3:1)
The Maharil commented: The word, "before" דע "לפני" מי אתה עומד, is superfluous; it could have said "Know to whom you will...!"

Rather, "before" refers not to Gd, but to the fact that many actions impact not only upon the actor, but also upon the people who are present - "before whom he stands," as it were.
A person should realize that his actions do not take place in a vacuum, and that just as he will have to account for his personal deeds, so he will have to account for those upon whom his deeds impacted.

Have a great day,

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