Friday, June 13, 2008

First Thoughts

The Gemora asks (Daf Yomi: Sotah 21b): What is an example of a cunning evildoer? Rabbi Yochanan answers: This is someone who tells his side of the story to the judge before the other party shows up.

Rashi explains that once the judge hears the first side, it will be difficult for him to remove that from his mind, and he will not be impartial in the case.

The Mirrer Mashgiach, Reb Chaim Shmuelwitz notes that this is true regarding the way a person thinks as well. The first thought that enters one’s mind becomes entrenched in his brain, and he will not pay attention to a different perspective presented to him. He will not even bother thinking that perhaps his opinion is incorrect, and all that will happen in the future will only serve to strengthen his original thought.

Accordingly, he explains that which the Shach (C”M 37:109) brings from the Ball Ha’itur: If witnesses observed something concerning a relative of theirs, they cannot offer testimony even if at the time of the testimony, they were no longer relatives. This is because it is the nature of man to follow his initial thoughts, and their recollection of the incident will be based on their initial perception, which occurred while they were related.


Heshy said...

that first impressions remain....this is why the Rambam says that there are 3 parties to Lashon Hara: the speaker, the listner, and the person who is the Object of the LH. Who is the most affected?
It is the listner, because while the speaker can do teshuvah and the person who was the object of the LH may never even hear of or know about the LH, the listner's opinion of the person whom he heard LH about will never quite be the same, even if the listner ultimately finds out that the LH was untrue. That is because, as you said, impressions last and dont fully go away....Kol Tuv HK