The Torah states:
“Do not erect a ‘matzaivah’ (a pillar of one stone upon which to bring an offering).” (Deut. 16:22)
What lesson for life can we learn from this verse?
Rabbit Tzvi Elimelech Shapiro of Dinov commented: There are people who are rigid and inflexible. They have certain habits and customs and are unwilling to deviate from them. However, this is a mistake. This day is not similar to any previous day, and no two situations are exactly alike. What is the right thing to do in any situation is dependent on all the unique circumstance of that situation. This can be understood from our verse. Do not erect a way that is rigid or stubbornly unbending regardless of the situation (‘matzav’ – which has the same root as ‘matzaivah’ – means ‘situation’). Rather, you should always take action according to the needs of that particular moment.
What could be a mitzvah (proper behaviour) in one situation, could be a transgression in another situation. At times a certain act could be a Kiddush Hashem (a sanctification of G d’s name), and in other situations where some factors are a bit different, similar behaviour would constitute a Chilul Hashem (a profanation of G d’s name).
A person who does things compulsively without wisdom will make many mistakes. Only someone who has a grasp of the full panoramic view of Torah principles will have the necessary wisdom to judge what is the correct thing to do in every situation. The more Torah you learn the greater will be your ability to make distinctions between different situations.