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I'm a big fan of Positive Psychology approach to education, reinforcing positive behaviors instead of discouraging negative ones.

When Moses is scolding the nations for the sins [of the previous generation!] I haven't noticed much of positive feedback for all the good things they did, like agreeing to exit Egypt and fulfilling all the Pesach obligations, crossing the Red sea, singing the Song and believing in Moses and G-d, for their exceptional behavior at Mt. Sinai, donating for the Mishkan, building it and bringing sacrifices, 40 years of studying Torah and fulfilling Mitzvos while being convicted to die at any day. For fighting the wars they were commanded to and they even killing each other when commanded to.

And all Moses chooses to discuss are the moments of their weaknesses.

Why is this gloomy approach?


NB, I know that your first move will be to search feverishly for counterexamples, but I'd like to see the big picture.

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  • I believe Jordan Peterson answered this well in one of his lectures. – Turk Hill Aug 24 '19 at 18:19
  • And psychologically, people feel better when they focus on the negativity of the world. Moshe was no exception, however, people need to realize that as much what could go bad in life, things could turn good. The Torah has three purposes: (a) to teach some truths (I say some because every culture has some truths, even the Greeks), (b) to improve the self and (c) improve society. – Turk Hill Aug 24 '19 at 18:29
  • @TurkHill "negativity of the world" - yes, negativity of their behavior - no. – Al Berko Aug 24 '19 at 18:46
  • Most people see negativity in people. – Turk Hill Aug 24 '19 at 18:51
  • Perhaps because people will see their own (and their parent's own) virtues without them being pointed out, but they won't see their faults until they are pointed out. But I think your question is better than my answer. – Mordechai Aug 24 '19 at 22:22

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