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I Made a Mistake


When the world was created, an interesting court case ensued, wherein Mistake took Wisdom to court before God.

“I am purposeless in this universe,” claimed Mistake. “By giving the human being Wisdom you’ve simply taken me out of business! How is that just?”

“You are right,” answered God, “have no fear; I will create something that is sure to keep you in business.”

So God created Haughtiness, and since then Mistake has never complained.

The Talmud states, “Who is wise? He who learns from everyone!”

Indeed, it is ok not to know. And true wisdom is the ability to let go of pride in order to learn something new.

I remember as a child encountering a commentary of Rashi (foremost commentator on the Torah and Talmud) in which he writes, simply,  “I don’t know.” If he didn’t know, why say anything at all? I wondered.

“On the contrary,” explained my teach, ” this commentary is Rashi’s greatest message: no matter how much you’ve studied, always remember that you do not know it all.”

I believe that the challenge of success is success itself, for it is when we become overconfident that we begin to make mistakes.

When we were young and a little less sure of ourselves, we questioned life. We were inexperienced and we were thirsty to learn. But as we aged, we asked less, as the unknown became “facts of life.” And today, we’re afraid to ask at all. For what if the answers to life reveal that we’ve done it all wrong?

Granted, it takes courage to ask, but it is vital to our growth. We ought to rethink those questions we stopped asking, to renew our search for purpose, to ask as we did when we were truly open to discovering what we don’t know.

And if, during the journey, we discover that we’ve made mistakes – that’s ok.

Embrace them, learn from them, and allow your life to take on a whole new meaning.

Rabbi Mendy