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Home » The Shul Connection » Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin


Moses is on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. The Almighty relates to him all that has happened in the creating of the Golden Calf and with the worshipping of it. Then the Almighty concludes with this final verse in summation as to why He wants to annihilate the Jewish people, “[…] I have seen this people and they are a stiff-necked people” (Exodus 32:9). What is it that makes our stiff-neckedness the “final straw” for the Almighty?

Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm explains that the main fault of the Jewish people was that they were stiff-necked. That is, they lacked the flexibility to admit that they made a mistake. When someone is flexible, even if he makes many mistakes, he will regret them and will change. However, if a person is inflexible, when he makes a mistake he will not repent and improve.

It is important to be flexible to improve oneself. However, there is also a time to be inflexible: When upholding values and maintaining one’s honesty and integrity.

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