What does bribery really mean? And how can we make sure we don’t bribe ourselves into making the wrong decisions?
People will tell you: “go with your gut, trust your judgment, you know you better than anyone else knows you.” They’ll tell you a lot of stuff like that. You know what I say? Wrong, wrong, wrong again.
Rav Dessler tells us that in the beginning of our parsha, there is an important idea that we need to learn in regards to shochad, bribery of a judge.
He explains that bribery is not that the judge will go ahead and make that guilty person innocent. No, that’s what we have corrupt politicians for. Right? Rather, what it’s going to do is cloud the judge’s vision so much that he’s going to truly believe that that person is completely innocent and never did anything wrong.
Isn’t that amazing? The power of what a bribe can do, that it can change how he feels and how he views what that person did.
So what does that have to do with me and you? We’re not judges and we’re not getting bribes slipped to us under the table or wired to the Cayman Islands. What does that to do with us?
Because we’re all subject to bribery.
Yes, many times we’re stuck with a decision which way we should go and our heart is telling us that we’d really like the outcome to be a certain way. And our self-interests will not only bribe us into believing that we should do the wrong thing, but it will convince us that this was never the wrong thing. This is the right thing for us to do.
And that’s why you need the input and guidance of a Rabbi or a teacher or a mentor. Somebody that can be objective and has the knowledge and clarity of mind to help you make a clear decision what’s best for you.
That’s right. If you don’t want to get bribed by your self interests, get yourself interested in the advice of a rabbi.
Have a great Shabbos.
Avraham Kohn produces marketing videos for companies and organizations, helping them make money.