Inconsistencies: A Memory
I was all of 16 years old, and was quite confused. I had serious questions about how people use Judaism to relate to God, and I was asked to meet once a week with public school students and answer their questions.
It was pouring that night in Santa Clara, as I sat in a car with Rabbi Daniel Lapin, an extraordinary man from a truly great family. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” I complained.
“Simcha,” Rabbi Lapin said, “One of the most important and practical lessons I can offer is that there is a difference between inconsistency and hypocrisy. A hypocrite will teach something he believes is false. Someone who teaches something he believes even while having difficulty always living according to those beliefs, is inconsistent, and definitely not a hypocrite.”
“Do you believe that it is wrong to speak negatively about others?”
“Are there times when you speak Lishon Harah?”
“Are you a hypocrite or are you inconsistent?”
Thank you, Rabbi Lapin, for a lesson I use every day of my life.
When the ten spies spoke Lishon Harah about the Land of Israel, were they hypocrites, or, simply inconsistent?
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