Nothing Personal

Moshe Ben-Chaim

"Happy is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, and in the path of sinners he does not stand, and in the company of scorners he does not sit. But in God's Torah is his desire; and in his [own] Torah he habituates himself day and night". (Psalms 1:1,2)

It is significant that King David does not say that the happy man walks in the ways of "righteous people". Rather, he follows God's Torah: i.e., ideas. Thereby, King David teaches that we are not to follow "people", as do the sinners. But we are to follow our minds. Social approval is not the path of our great, wise king. King David exposes the insecure nature we all possess, and which we must overcome, if we are to be truly righteous, and happy. Man and woman must be dedicated to themselves, and not live to make others happy by following what is popular. We must use God's Torah alone to determine what is true and false. If many Jews follow beliefs that violate Torah, we must suffer their scorn and not join them. Enjoy the fact that you follow truth. It is this thought that must guide our actions. 

God will certainly hold us accountable for the self-imposed loss of following masses, even religious masses, in addition to the irrevocable, tragic loss of our perfection. 

Be steadfast in God's Torah, and you will be happy.