It is very difficult for us human beings to accept that we do things that are wrong, so we rationalize. We create illusions and fanciful stories that we ourselves don’t believe. And so, you will find intelligent and otherwise rational people saying things like, “Of course, I wouldn’t steal! Stealing is dishonest. But this isn’t stealing. It’s “shtick.”
We “mach shtick” with the tickets. We “mach shtick” with the Regents. But it’s O.K. because it’s not stealing; it’s only “shtick.”
This Shmuz helps us identify something that has become blight in our community, the lack of a true sense of integrity in all of our dealings.