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The Flaws That Beguile
Tue, 07/23/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week
Rabbi David Wolpe
Rabbi David Wolpe

In his classic history of art, Ernest Gombrich offers a powerful insight into life while discussing Botticelli’s famous “Birth of Venus.” Botticelli deliberately misproportioned Venus, and Gombrich notes that the figure emerging from the half shell is more beautiful for her flaws: “the unnatural length of her neck, the steepfall of her shoulders...” The painter’s Venus is less correctly drawn than his predecessors, but his alterations “enhance the impression of an infinitely tender and delicate being.”

The great artist fashioned flaws to create a legendary effect. We are familiar with the idea of distortion augmenting beauty. How often do we recognize that the very imperfections in another endear us to them, draw our hearts in the way that an icy ideal could never do? When we hear the lyrics, “my funny Valentine ... your looks are laughable, unphotographable, but you’re my favorite work of art,” we know what lyricist Lorenz Hart meant: a seeming shortcoming beguiles.

“Lord,” cries out the Psalmist, “you have examined me and know me” (Psalm 139.) To be known is to understand that faults need not always be causes for estrangement but can be part of the portrait, one with steepfall shoulders and wayward hearts, that draw us to one another.

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings on Twitter: @RabbiWolpe.

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Just as one cannot come close to Hashem by believing in "ÿoshke", so one cannot come close to Hashem by trying to validate any other idolatry. Simple. Hashem desires us to do better.

Bending the truth is what "reform" has been about for generations. Idolatry actively distances us from Hashem, please don't bend the truth.

The article is a celebration of "flaws" calling them "beauty"! Right off the path - even over the cliff, has v sholom. By the way, we know what aveiros the "reform" find beautiful. All against Torah. All against Hashem.

Even in nature when a leaf has done its purpose, it detaches itself from the tree, reaching for the earth beneath.

When you become part of the moving force in the wind that further disperses the leaves, you have helped separating that sacred tree from its own form of nourishment.
This is what all the facets of inner Judaism are doing to Israel, they are separating her from within. Aren't there enough enemies in the world? When will the competition end?

When you compete you are distancing yourself from compassion. This is a sin in all religions.

It is an invalid comparison to make a comparison of the idolotrous “V” and her “supposed birth” (never happened) and the immodesty displayed in that “work of art”, to the superlative Psalm.

Perfection is a spiritual concept made by Hashem.

The “work of art” mentioned has NO perfection and cannot ever be compared to a Psalm.
And more real perfection a person has, the more does it endear him to Hashem because He has said he desires real goodness (perfection). We also desire goodness from ourselves and from our Jewish brothers and sisters, and if they do not agree we patiently teach them the correct paths of Hashem, by the Orthodox Jewish pathway(the ONLY way) out of ahavas Yisroel.

The title is about "flaws" not perfection, and a leader must speak to all level of understanding, and so addressing it with what it is that will get the lesson across. Read between the lines, or yet, between the letters. Those with eyes may see, those with ears may hear.

Aleph, the central letter of Tiferet, represented by Jacob, stands firm as it anhiliates all opposites. This happens when Jacob meets Rachel at the well falling in love with Rachel and becomes a greater leader.

All attempts to reach "the correct paths - to - Hashem" are valid. All of them, in any way or form. All attempts to un-validate such paths are valid only if they bring greater Khavanah to the original plea.