Counting the Omer with Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson
Day 39 — Leading Others to Truth
Ma’amido al Ha’Emet • מעמידו על האמת
By Rabbi Marcia Plumb, Boston, MA
I am regularly surprised when I look in the mirror. I expect to see the me from my 30’s, but instead I see a somewhat different image in the glass. The same thing happens when I look at photos others take of me. I always look differently than I expect.
The fact that we often see ourselves differently than others see us is the reason why we need the middah Ma’amido al ha’emet / Leading Others to Truth. Whether we look in the mirror, a camera lens, or through our own self-introspection, we cannot see or experience ourselves as others do. We need others to give us feedback, and help us, with care and objectivity, to put ourselves back on the ‘right path.’
Ma’amido al ha’emet requires us to be honest in our relationships with others as a way of helping others find their own path of truth and wholeness. By practicing Ma’amido al Ha’emet, we can play a role in the success of our fellow human beings. Being a mirror for others, helping others see how they can become more whole, and achieve their personal ethical ideals, can bring healing for some who can’t seem to let go of destructive habits. We need others to be a mirror for us as well.
The #MeToo movement practices this middah. Ma’amido means to stand, as in the Amidah, the Standing Prayer in our liturgy. Women across the country and the world have been standing up, speaking out, and leading others to truth. These women have opened their lives to reveal their experiences and challenged the perpetrators to acknowledge the unethical, damaging paths they have walked due to lust, greed and insensitivity. Bringing the light of truth about sexual harassment to those in power, and to society as a whole, has moved us all toward greater respect for others. It has allowed those who have behaved badly a greater degree of self-reflection and in many cases has caused new behaviour.
Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel would say: “The world stands on three things: justice, truth and peace.” (Pirkei Avot 1:18)
Rooted in the Pirkei Avot verse, and our middah, the #MeToo movement has led women to tell the truth and seek justice. In so doing it has helped bring peace to their own souls, teshuvah to others, and hopefully, and ideally, greater peace to the workplace, and within our society.
If you’ve appreciated this Omer program, please support the work of The Mussar Institute.
Sign up to receive the Omer lessons every day!
To view an archive of this year’s Omer,
THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE
For further information on The Mussar Institute, visit www.MussarInstitute.org
Email address: email@example.com | Phone: 305-610-7260