This week's parshas brought up an interesting point. It was said in chapter 13 verse 7, the following; "If your brother, the son of your mother... Or your friend who is like your own soul will entice you secretly, saying 'Let us go and worship the gods of others'". First of all, the passage is talking about the people that are most close to you. In my blog on Facebook, Eliora's Emuna, I had spoken about being late to get to the airport, and I was worried that my suitcase wouldn't get onto the plane because I was checking it late. I wrote briefly about how close a person is to their posessions. I couldn't even imagine going to New Mexico without all of my belongings. It was almost a paralyzing fear!
You could take this verse to teach a parallel lesson. A person is greatly influenced by the people that matter to them. A person is also greatly influenced by people who aren't as important to them. American society uses influence to persuade people to buy and do things that otherwise they would not. American society also teaches us to worship posessions and money through that influence. As a result of the influence of a person's friend or brother in the parshas, it was said that this should be done because of their sin, "You shall pelt him with stones and he shall die, for he sought to make you stray from near Hashem". American society's influence, persay, causes the same result! Though these are not the days when G-d would "sizzle" those who sinned grievously, there is a similar consequence. Those who are easily overcomed by secular influence, it has caused them to be greedy. Their spirituality suffers because of their greed; it is sizzled like Nadab and Abihu!
A lady I met who grew up in West Germany, back when there was the Berlin Wall, told me how in Europe when a child's toy is broken, they fix it. In the United States, it gets thrown out and a new one is bought. This illustrates clearly the morals of American Society. If you cannot gain benefit from something anymore, such as a person or object, they are discarded! Then, something else is brought in, in its place. This is the most pure form of greed. As a side note, it's an even more greedy practice because the majority of goods imported to the United States from Asia are made through underpaid, usually abused, laborers. Because of human greed, other humans, animals, and the world suffer. It's not just your spirituality that will suffer; you bring others down to suffer with you.
Moshe and Aaron worked together as a single unit. If one suffered spiritually, the other one did as well. When you are greedy, both your spirituality and the spirituality of others greatly suffers. When I see people who are very patriotic towards our country, the United States, I'm almost disgusted by their ignorance. The United States was formed because Britain was greedy and the colonists wanted to be free from such opression. Today, the United States is a world power, because of their own greed. Our government does what it does to receive benefit. If they help out with the situation in the Middle East and they're actually successful for once, they may gain allies and the gas prices drop. They don't do it for the countries in the Middle East; it's done almost exclusively for themselves.
If a person frees themself from greed, it is influential and a mutually beneficial situation for the people around them. Just as if one person is corrupted by greed, others follow. Believe it or not, healthy influence spreads as well! A person's children often have similar faults and similar strengths as them. If you are greedy, chances are that your children will learn to be greedy as well. If you choose not to be greedy, your children probably won't be greedy either. Then, your grandchildren probably won't be greedy. Consider this for a moment; if everone reading this chose to banish their greed, think how many people who wouldn't be greedy!