There are no perfect people in the Torah. No one above criticism or free from sin. To read the story of Abraham, Moses, Miriam or David is to recognize that no biblical hero is ideal.
What lesson do we draw from this pageant of imperfection? Life is not about flawlessness but about overcoming. No one, the Rabbis teach, stands as high as the repentant sinner. Struggle is human destiny. Each of us is born with light and darkness and although we may believe we are the first, or the worst, to have strayed from the light, all we need do is look in the Torah to understand that human beings were never faultless.
Remember the story of the king who had the perfect diamond? He dropped it and a crack the length of the stone developed. The king promised great riches to the man who repaired it. A wise old jeweler knew that a crack cannot be erased, so he carved petals on top of the diamond. Now the crack formed the stem of a blossom. The crack did not disappear but it was transformed. We will never be perfect; but with repentance and resolve we can turn flaws into flowers.
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow his teachings at www.facebook.com/RabbiWolpe.