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Confessions: Gazalnu

One who eats without first reciting a blessing is stealing from K’nesset Yisrael – The Collective Power of Israel. I had an opportunity to expand God’s Presence in the world and I wasted the chance. My actions affect all of Israel.

Halacha considers it stealing to bother someone who is sleeping. We must be careful before calling someone late at night.

We are not allowed to trick someone. If we know that someone has misunderstood something we said, we must correct him. It is considered stealing to allow them to be fooled.

Halacha considers it stealing to deprive someone of his or her dignity. The example of the Talmud, as explained by Rashi, is to not respond when someone greets us or sticks out their hand to shake. “Stealing from the poor” refers to the only thing the poor person has; his dignity. We must be careful to respond to people who greet us.

If someone gave a piece of gum to me, and someone else asks me where I got the gum, I may not tell him. I will be placing the person who gave the gum to me in an uncomfortable position of having to give away more gum or to say no. Halacha considers one who says “Go ask him for some gum,” as stealing!

We may not accept an invitation to eat in the home of someone who cannot afford to host me. I may accept if I intend to send a gift of food. 

Halacha considers one who speaks during prayers and disturbs others to be stealing!

These Halachot demand an extraordinary level of awareness, sensitivity, and self-honesty. Gazalnu addresses our behaviors that lack such awareness and sensitivity.

ToolsTikkun/Achieving Greatness

The most obvious Tikkun is to pay attention to these laws.

The deeper Tikkun is to work on the sensitivity to others, being aware of their feelings and needs and to pay attention to the effect my words and actions have on others.

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