Al Chet 2

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

2. For the mistakes we committed before You through having a hard heart.
Hardening of the heart means that I closed myself off to deep, human emotions like compassion and caring. The newspapers and streets seem so filled with one tragic story after another, that I can become desensitized to the whole idea of human suffering.

Ask yourself:
Did I ignore the poor and the weak?
When I did give charity, was it done enthusiastically or begrudgingly?
Was I kind, compassionate and loving when my family and friends needed me to be?
Do I feel the pain of Jews who are assimilating, and of how that impacts the Jewish nation as a whole?


Al Chet 2
The 44  Roots of Mistakes
by George Brock

2.   For the mistake of having a hard heart....

  •  Hardening of the heart means to close oneself off to deep human emotions like compassion and caring -  one becomes desensitized to the whole idea of human suffering.
  • The battle is between charity and stinginess.
  •  The cause is what makes one ignore the poor and the weak, and to give grudgingly - these are the things that hardens one's heart.
  •  It is caused by making excuses; blaming those above you and ridiculing those below you.
  •  The enemy to giving is the belief in "more is better”.
  •  The victory  is when one realizes that giving is acknowledging that one has been given.
  •   If in giving one gives, are these not the same garments?
  •   A good man's heart is not shut within itself but open to the hearts and needs of others - all of mankind, even the misguided.
  • Respect people not for what they have done but for who they are.
  • Giving to the poor makes one a lender to G-d which causes great joy and results in one being called a perfectTzaddik.
    • If one would realize no one is more than a man nor is one less than a man, and that all men have flaws (the weakness of humanity), one will then shatter the vessel to receive for self alone thus creating a vessel to receive to give pleasure to one's Creator.
    • One would then honor and respect the Divine image found in all men which would soften one's heart to give and remove the stinginess of having a hard heart.


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