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Trust and Loyalty
One of the mitzvos mentioned in this parashah is, “You shall not place a stumbling block before the blind.” This statement is not meant to be taken only literally; it also means that we must be careful not to give misleading advice. We also have to insure that we do not have hidden agendas and that our motivations for giving advice are pure. The question that must arise, however, is, why the Torah doesn’t simply state that we are not permitted to mislead others. Why use this figure of speech, “place a stumbling block before the blind”?
The Torah wants to impart to us the seriousness and the importance of trust. Even as no sane individual would countenance tripping a blind person or allowing him to step in front of a moving vehicle, so too, misleading someone who is unaware is equally deplorable. We all know how painful it is to discover that we have been betrayed by people in whom we place our trust, so we should take care not to do this to others. All relationships are built on trust. Neither individuals, nor families, nor societies can survive when trust is missing. When we come to this understanding and realize that deceiving or misleading someone is no different than allowing a blind person to walk into traffic, we will surely be more sensitive to every word we pronounce.