Finding Excuses

Friday, 28 October, 2022 - 7:52 am

Exploiting situations for political benefit may be an old trick, and will continue to be debated. Is it proper to use a situation that is already present for personal benefit or political gain?

In our own private lives we are often faced with similar challenges.

My biggest rival at work failed miserably today. Should I take advantage and prop myself up in front of my boss?

Sometimes, when in these circumstances, we might be looking for excuses to justify taking advantage of the state of affairs. “Well, it’s not my fault she failed to deliver!”


In the beginning of this week’s parsha of Noach, the Torah relates: “These are the generations of Noah, Noah was a righteous man he was perfect in his generations; Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

If we study these verses we might wonder, “Why is the Torah interrupting its message?” After stating, “These are the generations of Noah,” the Torah should immediately continue, “Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” Why the interjection of Noah’s accolades?  Doesn’t the Torah usually strive for the most concise message?


Perhaps the Torah is teaching us a powerful lesson about when we should exploit incidents.  As Rashi points out, “Since Scripture mentions him, it tells his praise.”  At times, jumping on an opportunity is a great thing to do. It’s wonderful to sing someone’s praises, just because their name came up in conversation.  When my rival is down might be the perfect opportunity to reach out and befriend her.

We don’t necessarily need to stop finding excuses. We just need to make sure we find excuses to do the right things.

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