יום ראשון ב' בתשרי תשפ"א 20/09/2020
Search
  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

    Read More...

בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

    Read More...

Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

    Read More...

Join Our Mailing List!

Please add a Valid Email Address
Join
Thanks!

In Weekly Parsha

Rebuke That Comes from Love

In Parshat Devarim, Moshe Rabbeinu rebukes the Jewish nation and the nation accepts his words offered through his love and caring.

M. Ginosar 19/07/2009 11:12

Once upon a time, one of the leaders of the city of Tiberias, a brilliant man known for his piety and wisdom, had a 12 year old son who had done something that children occasionally do. He had done something that required rebuke.

So the father called him aside and spoke words of rebuke, to which the son actually paid attention. In other words, he was listening to what his father was saying. The boy was in for a surprise, though, because his father suddenly slapped him on the cheek. Not a hard slap, but a slap nonetheless. 

Violence had not been part of their relationship, so the boy felt comfortable contesting the reason for the slap. Besides, this child was quite intelligent, and he knew that although his transgression merited rebuke, it was hardly dastardly enough to deserve a slap in the face. He even suspected that his father had been looking for an excuse to slap him and that his recent misdeed had conveniently presented itself.

To the boy's amazement, the father explained his action, "You know that the wisest of all men, King Solomon, told us 'One who spares the rod (of rebuke) hates his son, and one who loves his son seeks to give him reproof early' (Proverbs/Mishle 14:24). You are nearing the age of bar mitzvah. During all the years of our acquaintance, I've given you only one 'potch', one slap. I figured that one slap [in 13 years] might not be enough to qualify as real rebuke, so I was looking for an opportunity to give you another one [before you become an adult]…" 

This father and community leader reckoned that two parental slaps in a lifetime were enough to show his son that he had done something wrong that required rebuke that when someone does something wrong, rebuke should be forthcoming from one who loves the offender and that the father actually considered a slap as necessary to demonstrate the sincerity of the reproof.

Twice in a lifetime, mind you.

And note, they were easily on speaking terms after this incident.

This child, by the way, continued on his path of Torah and fear of Heaven, eventually becoming one of the most foremost admorim, Jewish Torah leaders in Israel.

The educational philosophy of the father, faithful to the Torah and to the tradition that we received from the mouths of our Sages of blessed memory, proved itself and provided fertile ground for the blossoming of a gadol b'Israel.
Certainly, closeness and warmth are prerequisites of chinuch – Torah-true education. This emphasis means that the youngster's perception of closeness, of caring must be stronger than his or her perception of any tendency of the educator to reject or to punish.

Our Sages z"l instructed us long ago, "The left hand should reject and the right hand should draw close" (Tractate Sota 47a). They are telling us that because the right hand, in the majority of the population, is usually the stronger of a person's hands; one should use his or her stronger hand to draw one's child close. The left hand (except in the case of lefties!) is normally the weaker of a person's hands. The weaker hand should thus be the limb with which one "pushes away." [In other words, if someone needs to indicate rejection of a child's behavior, don't give the kid a shove. Indicate gently – with the weaker hand –  that certain things are unacceptable.]

When an entire educational system lacks any indication of rebuke and punishment, it also lacks an honest concern – a love – for the students, as Proverbs tells us, "One who loves [the child] gives him rebuke early."

In the twilight of his life, our greatest teacher, Moshe Rabbeinu, invited the entire nation of Israel to listen to his words. He gave them words of rebuke, words that are elaborated on in the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy. His parting talk was a vital lesson, essential for the People Israel at the time, and essential throughout the generations.

Before he parted from the people, Moshe saw that it was necessary to complete delivering the rebuke on ethical matters that the nation had needed at its inception.

As a wise and understanding nation, the Jewish people succeeded in accepting their leader's rebuke, and succeeding in adopting his advice with love and with appreciation of its meaning.

The Gemara includes a maxim of Rabbi Yehuda: "one who walks to the right of his teacher is an ignoramus" (Yoma 37a). One of the Sages explained this dictum in light of the advice mentioned above: "The left hand should reject and the right hand should draw close."

This is what he said: "The person who walks at the right of his teacher is a student who always chooses only the right hand that draws close. Therefore he is an ignoramus. If he were wise, he would certainly understand that the 'rejecting' left hand is more important and more necessary than the [accepting right hand]." 

With these explanations in mind, we see that Moshe Rabbeinu served as the ideal leader of the people. He knew how to combine the "right" approach and the "left" approach, in the correct amounts and at the proper time, thus, he was able to prepare the people appropriately for their entrance into Eretz Israel.