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Houston, We Have A Problem

01/17/2020 01:25:40 PM


Rabbi Elie Karfunkel


This past week it was revealed that the 2017 World Series winning Houston Astros had cheated during their playing season!!  All the runner-up teams, the excitement of their fans, all the financial benefits, and the future careers of the players were kyboshed because the Astros, who had been a great team without cheating, decided to employ deceptive techniques and rig the playing field to gain additional advantages. How does this cheating scandal rank next to other cheating scandals?  The truth is, I’m not sure….

The 2019 college admissions bribery scandal got a lot of people upset as well.  It seems that there are 3 groups of people in every cheating incident, the victim(s), the perpetrator(s) and the group (seemingly) not affected at all.  You may not have cared at all, until you realized that your child didn't get the last rowing scholarship to UCLA because it was given to a cheater.  Suddenly, you might have a different take on the matter!

One lesson to be learnt is that it’s never worth it.  You  live as a faker when you cheat, and when you get busted, you’re ruined.  Four years ago, an opportunity was brought to me to help make the Center money, but it required me to bend the rules a lot.  I was seriously considering it.  I knew it smelled bad so I asked another Rabbi who said "Elie this is 100% wrong!”  Only when he said it  did reality set in for me.

None of us are perfect, and the temptation to get away with cheating a little to gain an advantage to be a better provider, give more tzedakah, and/or to have less stress in the home is so appealing.  It’s so easy to convince ourselves that it makes the perfect argument in its favour.  So before you do it... ask your rabbi, your spouse, or your friend and that could save you a lifetime of regret .

Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784