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The right motives - Pinchas

Thursday, 9 July, 2020 - 4:53 am

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What is the most dangerous thing in a psychological analysis?

It's when someone who is not a specialist thinks that he/she is and starts analyzing the people around him/her. “I know why this one gives charity so generously, it’s because he/she wants his/her name to appear on the honorary plaques”. Or: “The reason he/she always ready to help is because he/she has a low self-esteem and is constantly looking for validation from others”.

Is it really that easy to know the motives of someone else’s actions?

In this week’s Parasha Pinchas, Pinchas intervenes and kills the person who was sinning in front of the whole people. Thanks to his action, G-d’s anger recedes, and He stops the plague that had started because of the sin.

But Pinchas’ action was not appreciated by everyone. Some commented that his motives were not right: he had killed the sinner because of his cruel and merciless character. At this point, G-d intervened and confirmed that Pinchas’ motives were pure and that he acted out of true care for the people who were dying from the plague caused by the sin.

Often, when someone does a good action, someone else comes and says that his motives are not correct.

Let’s ask ourselves:

First, how do we know what are the motives of someone else? Are we prophets?

Second, let’s suppose that his/her motives are indeed incorrect. If it is a good action, he/she should continue to do it. Even if someone gives charity for the wrong reasons, the poor people still get the help they need.

Third, before analyzing the motives of the other, let’s first analyze our own motives. Why do we feel the need to criticize someone else’s good actions? Sometimes, we criticize good actions in order to justify why we ourselves are not doing them. Instead of acknowledging that we are egoistic, indifferent or lazy, it’s easier to say that the other’s motives are wrong.

Next time we see someone doing something positive, instead of wondering about his/her motives, let us join the effort and do a good action too. Each good action brings us close to Mashiach!

Shabbat Shalom,


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