Al Chet 8

Exploring the Al Chet Prayer
Rabbi Shraga Simmons

8. For the mistakes we committed before You with knowledge and deceit.
As we know, knowledge is a powerful tool -- and a dangerous weapon when misused. Ask yourself:
Did I use knowledge of a certain situation to deceive others?
Did I use knowledge to deceive myself -- i.e. did I rationalize away my bad actions?
Did I use knowledge to circumvent the spirit of the law?
Did I use knowledge to show off and impress others?

Al Chet # 8
44 Roots of Mistakes
by George Brock

The Sin:  The Mistakes committed before You with knowledge and deceit.

  • Knowledge is a powerful tool- and a dangerous weapon when misused. (examples:)

           1)   Using knowledge to deceive others.
           2)   Using knowledge to deceive myself.
           3)   Using knowledge to rationalize away my bad actions.
           4)   Using knowledge to circumvent the “spirit of the law”.
           5)   Using knowledge to show-off and impress others.

The Battle:  Is between humility {vs.} arrogance and wisdom {vs.} knowledge

  • The Divine path {vs.} one's own path.

The Cause:  The arrogant think they can see things G-d can't see.

  • “It doesn't mean that to me”- is the answer to things that they don't agree with.

The Victories (over):...

     1)  (Knowledge to deceive others): One must remember to share the light one has been given and not the darkness one will create.

     2)   (Knowledge to deceive myself):

  • Looking stupid is so much better than being stupid.
  • A knowledgeable person can deceive himself but a wise man can avoid being deceived.

     3)  (Knowledge to rationalize away my bad actions):

  • When one lets go of one's own knowledge and receives G-d's wisdom- the way of truth
    becomes perfect.
  • Truth doesn't change- one's perspective does. Through T'shuvah one must elevate one's
    knowledge to that of G-d's wisdom.

     4)  (Knowledge to circumvent the “spirit of the law”):

  • Remember; For the arrogant- The Torah is not the answer it's the problem.
  • For the humble; The Torah is the answer to improved behavior.

     5)  (Knowledge to show-off and impress others):

  • Instead of impressing others with one's knowledge- one should teach others- of their
    strengths and warning them of their weaknesses.
  • One should first offer respect to others- then offer suggestions.

 “ If one would share what they know- not for a show, but to encourage and to motivate others to see G-ds goodness. Helping them to observe through faith- G-d's will for the correction of their soul. One would then defeat “knowledge with deceit” and exchange it for “knowledge
with love”.




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