Al Chet 17

Exploring the Al Chet Prayer
Rabbi Shraga Simmons

17. For the mistakes we committed before You with foolish speech.
People have a habit of talking for talking's sake. When we're bored, we may get on the phone, and "talk and talk and talk." Don't talk without a purpose. In any conversation ask yourself: "Is there any point to this conversation? Am I learning anything? Am I growing?" If you can't identify the point, there probably is none.

Ask yourself:
Did I waste time by talking about trivial things?
Do I seek to share words of Torah at every opportunity?

Al Chet # 17
44 Roots of  Mistakes
by George Brock

The Sin:  The Mistakes we committed before You with foolish speech.

  • Do I waste my time by talking about trivial things?
  • Do I seek to share words of Torah at every opportunity?

The Battle:

  • When to speak {vs} When not to speak.
  • What to speak {vs} What not to speak.

The Cause:  1) Wasting time on trivial things. 2) Not seeking to share the Torah.

  • People prefer myth over reality, trivial over the truth, because they are afraid of change.
  • Being afraid to admit they are wrong, because admitting that they are wrong- simply means they have just learned something that is true.
  • Not wanting to be proven wrong- they don't want to listen to any more truth.

The Victory:  Comes when one realizes- it's the evil inclination that says to the misguided-

That it is there to protect you and assures you that it will keep you safe from change.

The same (evil inclination) tells the Noahide- “People say that they want to learn new things” and they say “that they are open minded” but they are only going to nurture the past, again and again.( So don't share the truth with them-it's a waste of time).

  • The victory also comes- when a Noahide remembers that he is a receptacle of light, and the nature of that light is to share.
  • So one must listen to the 'Good inclination', which says- “Do the right thing and share the light with the misguided; who's soul is being led by the 'evil inclination' into darkness.

The Goal:  The goal is to try to avoid the temporal words of the trivial, and to proclaim the eternal words of truth. Remind yourself- that the Torah is the 'antidote' to darkness. Let the nature of the light to share; permeate your words, which can be a stepping stone for the misguided to change.