Check the Blind Spot!

Quick commentary: Torah portion Ahare Mot-Kedoshim

When I was learning to drive, one of the most important lessons the instructor and the manual taught was, “Check the blind spot!” When we change lanes, a car could be lurking and a dangerous accident could occur if we do not look first at the spot on the road our rear view mirror does not reveal.

The same principle holds in human relationships!

One of the great teachings of this weeks Torah portion is that God forbids us to “curse the deaf or place a stumbling block before the blind (Leviticus 19:14).”

In all of my life I have never heard anyone shout curses at a deaf person or try to purposely trip someone who is blind. Is the Torah commanding us to not do something no one ever would do in the first place? Certainly not!

In some ways each of us is deaf and blind.

We all have blind spots. We all have vulnerabilities. This verse is instructing us not to exploit these weaknesses, but this is not an easy ideal to live up to especially with those we love.

When we live with someone we know what his or her sensitivities are. Anger and disagreement are parts of any loving relationship.

When we get angry we—almost instinctively–hone in on those areas where they are “deaf and blind”, and they do the same to us.

Do we hit below the belt and go for those Achilles heels when we are angry?

When we do, we damage or even jeopardize our most precious relationships.

But when we hold ourselves back from exploiting those areas where our loved ones are “deaf and blind” we merit—and I believe we can feel—God’s pleasure. It is worth the effort to check the blind spot!