1) Describe a time in your life when Rabbi Ben Azzai's comment held true for you.
2) Can you apply this teaching to any current events in the world?
Another story is told [about prayer in the time of a drought]: Rabbi Eliezer prayed before the ark and said 24 blessings but was not answered. Rabbi Akiva prayed after him and said, "Avinu, Malkeinu, we have no Sovereign but you! Avinu, Malkeinu on your own account have mercy on us!" and the rains fell. The rabbis murmured against him. A heavenly voice called out saying, "Not because this Akiva is greater than Eliezer, rather because this Akiva has compassion on others when they do wrong and Eliezer is not forgiving."
1) According to this text, G-d favors those who have compassion and who forgive. What do we do if we feel we cannot forgive someone?
1) According to Rabbi Abbahu, those who have sinned and repented (done teshuva) are, indeed, superior to those who are perfectly righteous. Why would this be?
2) The Talmud also teaches that a leader can neither be too wicked or too righteous. Why would this be the case? What is the issue with being too righteous?