Friday, April 23, 2010

Parshas Acharei - Kedoshim

Imagine this: You are at a shiur, the audience is silent, all intent on hearing what the speaker has to say. Then you start talking to a friend. A stranger calls out to you to be quiet.

Now there are a few different reactions to this. 1- You stop talking and brush off what the person said. 2- You continue talking, thinking what you have to say is more important. 3- You answer back to the stranger, that they shouldn’t tell you what to do.

In Most cases people would have reaction number 1. With a few people having reaction number 2. And rarely people would have reaction number 3.

Now Imagine this: A wife works hard in the kitchen cooking a supper for her husband. Then it comes supper time and the husband criticizes the way she cooked supper.

There are a few different reactions to this. 1- The wife will get upset and yell at her husband and say if he doesn’t like the way she made it, then he can make his own suppers. 2- She will take note of what he said and try next time to make it differently, but yet feel hurt that she didn’t meet his expectations. 3- She will accept what he says lovingly.

In most cases people will have reaction number 1. With a few people having reaction number 2. And rarely people would have reaction number 3.

By a stranger, we don’t get affected so much when they criticize us, since we don’t hold them in as much of a high regard. With a loved one, we care about what they have to say, and therefore it affects us more when we get criticized by them.

But yet in order to have the power to criticize someone, you have to be close to them. If someone else's child is misbehaving you won’t criticize them as much as you would your own child. Having someone you are close to correct you is easier than having a stranger do so. If your tag is showing, or you by mistake didn’t button all your buttons, having this pointed out by someone you are close to is easier and less embarrassing, then having a stranger point it out.

Something to Say:

You shall not hate your neighbor in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor (19:17).

The Arizal asks: What is the correlation between the concepts of not hating another and giving him reproof? Rebuke, he answers, can be presented properly onto towards one who is respected and loved by the observer. When one is sincerely concerned about another’s conduct, as a father is for his child, any criticism is certain to be constructive in nature and acceptable to the listener. The closer two people are to one another, the more intense the relationship is, and so the rebuke is certain to be more sincere and easier to absorb.

Parents love their children and therefore they feel their children’s pain. So when a parent has to punish their child, it’s like they’re punishing themselves too. They really don’t want to punish their child, but they have to, to teach the child a lesson. So the punishing is for the purpose of helping the child. If the child doesn’t learn from the punishment, then it is not the right method. A parent should not be punishing the child out of anger.