Rabbi Price shlit"a will be undergoing open heart surgery in the near future. He requests that all daven for his health.
His name is Shlomo Yoel ben Chayah Leah
He is publishing these new sichot to serve as a zechus for him.
I have often written about the difference between Torah and l'havdil secular wisdom. (See the Sefiras Haomer and the Shavuos Sicha).
One of the points that I'd like to focus on now is being sensitive to someone else's feelings.
Unfortunately, I'm a product of a Mad Magazine, comic book, TV, and all other trash, generation. The focus many times in these things was to make somebody else look stupid and to get as many laughs as you can at someone else's expense.
Just to give you a couple of examples, I remember Mad Magazine had a section called, "Mad's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions." One of the "stupid" questions was when a fellow is standing on a train platform with signs all over the place declaring, "This train to Altoona." Some luckless fellow dares to bother somebody with the obviously foolish question, "Can I take this train to Altoona?"
I don't remember all the "snappy" answers but one I do. The answer was given with disdain, and annoyance at being bothered (especially if the guy, who was asked, was busy reading Mad Magazine), "No! You can't take this train anywhere, it has to stay on the track!"
Now let us analyze this for one moment. Why is this question deemed "stupid"? He should have bothered to look at the signs, then he would know where it's going. So what? Maybe the guy can't read? (Then for sure you have to make fun of him). Maybe he's a foreigner, who can only speak English, not read it? Or maybe he left his glasses home and can't read the signs without them? And even if we grant you that it is "stupid", does that mean we have to make fun of the fellow and embarrass him (probably in public)? Shouldn't you have pity on him and try to help him?
The answer is that this is one of the differences between a Jew and l'havdil a gentile. The Gemoro in Yevamos 79a brings that Dovid Hamelech (King David) said that there are three signs unique in the Jewish people. They are rachamonim-merciful, baishonim-they are shy, and gomlei chasodim-do favors.
To a gentile, having mercy on someone else is fine as long as it's not at his own expense or when he can have a good laugh.
This brings me to the second example of insensitivity. There is a whole business and profession of practical jokers and jokes. People make fun of others in public in order to get a good laugh. There are all kinds of gadgets to buy to make someone else look foolish. I've been squirted by fake flowers and been the butt of many a joke, not to mention the "whoopie cushion" (if you don't know what it is-you're not missing anything).
Now let us see to what extent the Torah expects us to be sensitive of someone else's feelings.
In the wonderful book "Love Your Neighbor, by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, (p.111-113) he brings and elaborates on the Gemora Sotah 10b that says, "It is better to throw oneself into a fiery furnace rather than embarrassing someone in public."
This is deduced from the Torah in Breishis-Genesis 38:24-25, which relates how Tamar was about to be burned for immoral behavior. Tamar, who was pregnant with twins at the time, could have saved herself and her children by just saying that it was by Yehudah that she was with child. But rather than embarrass him in public she only alluded to it by saying that she was pregnant from the man who owns this signet ring, cords and staff (which belonged to Yehudah). Tamar thought to herself, "If he will confess by himself then fine: but if not, let them burn me, but let me not put him to shame."
One shouldn't think that this is not literal rather a figure of speech or an exaggeration. First of all, in the Torah it was literal. Second of all, in the Gemoro Kesubos 67b they bring stories where the Rabbis literally ran into furnaces rather than embarrass someone. Third of all, the Tosefos in Sotah 10b (s.v. Noach Lo…) asks, why embarrassing someone in public is not listed among the other three sins that one must give up his life rather than transgress-idolatry, immorality, and murder? He doesn't answer that it's not literal, so we see clearly that it's quite literal.
In fact, Rabbi Pliskin brings a story about a famous Rabbi in Baranovich, a town in Eastern Europe. In the shul there was a stove that had to be lit early every morning, so that by the time the congregants would come, the shul would be warm. The shamos-caretaker was supposed to do it but he relied many times on the poor people who used to come at night. But many times the poor people didn't come and the stove was not lit. This caused many people to complain. Then all the complaints stopped. People thought that the shamos was doing a good job and the shamos thought that the poor people were doing their job. No one realized that it was really the Rabbi of Baranovich, Rabbi Yisroel Yaccov Lubchanski, who, to make peace, would come very early to light the furnace himself.
One morning, the wood happened to be particularly wet and it needed a lot of blowing to get the fire started. The shamos came in while the Rabbi, with his head inside the furnace, was still trying to blow the wood. Since it was dark, the shamos didn't recognize the Rabbi. He thought that it was one of the poor people. The shamos, in a "joking" manner, gave the man a kick. The Rabbi realized that if he would remove his head from the stove then the shamos would be very embarrassed. So he pushed his face deeper in the oven. The smoke was burning his eyes and choking his lungs, yet he would not remove his head until he was sure that the shamos left. By the time the shamos walked away, half of the Rabbi's beard was gone-it had caught fire!
There is another story that shows how sensitive the great people were to other people's feelings even when it was detrimental to them.
Rabbi Paysach Krohn, in his book, "Echoes of the Maggid," p. 83 relates a story that he heard from Rav Asher Arieli, the renowned Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivas Mir of Jerusalem.
He told about when Rabbi Meir Chodosh (1898-1989), the late Mashgiach of Chevron, was in the hospital with his final illness. His room was usually full with the many visitors who came to see him every day.
One day a young intern came into the Rabbi's room to draw blood from his arm. Before the intern could start, the Rabbi sent everyone out of the room. This was surprising, because Rabbi Chodosh usually appreciated when his family and close friends were present during doctors' visits and medical procedures, so they were up to date on his medical status. The visitors tried to dissuade the Rabbi from being alone, but he emphatically asked them to leave.
A while later, after the intern left with a small vial of blood, the Rabbi explained to his returning visitors, "It is very hard for any doctor drawing blood to find the veins in the arms of an older person. Usually the doctor must stick his needle in a few times until he finds the appropriate vein. It can't be a good feeling for the doctor. For a young doctor, however, the problem is compounded; first there is his inexperience in drawing blood from any patient regardless how old he is, and secondly, my being an 'old man' makes it harder for him to locate the proper vein.
It would have been very embarrassing for him to have to pierce me numerous times in front of you until he found the vein. That is why I had to ask you to leave-to spare him shame."
"Imagine," said Rabbi Arieli in amazement. "Rabbi Chodosh is being poked and stuck numerous times and each time it is painful. But his pain is not what disturbs him. It is the pain of the young doctor's humiliation that disturbs him. That's his concern! Where do you find such people? And how does one become such a person?" he sighed.
Rav Sholom Schwadron (1912-1997), the venerable Maggid of Yerushalaim, would have given a one-word answer to that question- "[the study of] Mussar!-Ethical works"
One may think that this sensitivity only has to be shown to another Jew. But listen to the amazing words of Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz in "Reb Chaim's Discourses" (p.229-32), and similarly the words of the Manchester Rosh Hayeshivah, Rav Yehudah Zev Segal in "Inspiration and Insight", (p.231-32)
In Bamidbar-Numbers 22:32 the angel alludes to Bilaam, a gentile prophet, that he killed his donkey (the very same donkey that Hashem gave the power of speech to in order to rebuke Bilaam). Rashi elaborates, "....[the angel] killed her, so that people would not say, 'This is the donkey that brought about Bilaam's downfall through her rebuke…' For the Omnipresent has consideration for human dignity."
Now let us understand who was Bilaam that Hashem is so worried over his dignity?
He was warned by Hashem not to curse the Jews, because they are blessed. Despite this, he set out with Balak's (King of Moav) emissaries with the very intention of cursing them.
This is also the very same Bilaam who the Mishna in Avos 5:22 describes as the paradigm of haughtiness and conceit. And if that is not enough, the Gemoro in Sanhedrin 105a attributes to Bilaam, the most immoral and disgusting behavior, to the extent of sinning with animals.
One would imagine that concern for human dignity does not apply to a wicked person of this sort. However, as Reb Chaim explains,
"Yet, even this most low and decadent individual is not to be humiliated more than is necessary. The stature and importance of a man-created in Hashem's image- is so great, that extreme care must be taken to prevent any unnecessary degradation even of one as wicked as Bilaam."Even more than this, Rav Segal points out, "Consider also the following; Keeping Bilaam's donkey alive would have resulted in a great kiddush Hashem- sanctification of Hashem's Name. People would have pointed to the donkey and remembered that it had been granted a miraculous ability to speak in order to rebuke one who sought to transgress his Creator's Will. The donkey's having spoken was one of the great wonders of creation (see Avos 5:8); a classic illustration of Hashem's Omnipotence and His limitless ability to deal with those who disobey Him.
All this was overlooked for the sake of Bilaam's honor. Even a great kiddush Hashem did not justify dishonoring a thoroughly evil individual. How careful must one be with regard to the honor of his fellow! Regardless of our opinion of our neighbor, he deserves our respect and consideration."
Reb Chaim, likewise explains, that had the donkey remained alive, "It would have been living testimony to Hashem's creation and control of the universe. The humiliation that Bilaam would have suffered would itself be honoring Hashem's Name. Yet, the dignity of a human being, even of a Bilaam, is so valuable that Hashem preferred that His own honor be set aside for the sake of Bilaam's."
At this point, the reader may get discouraged after seeing all these lofty ideals. One may think that these levels are too difficult to attain, so why try?
So I refer you to the Preface of "Love Your Neighbor," by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, p.15 , where he discusses this problem in reference to the lofty levels mentioned in his book. He quotes a teacher of his who used to say, "When you reach for the stars, you may not catch any, but at least you won't get your hands stuck in the mud." Rabbi Pliskin concludes, "If we try to implement the principles cited here in our daily lives, we might not reach perfection, but at least we will become better persons."
Just to give you a little illustration of this point, I will focus on the concept I mentioned in the beginning, of "giving up your life rather than embarrassing someone in public."
I doubt that many of us are ready to actually do it, however if we realize to what extent we have to go, not to embarrass somebody, it may help us to control ourselves in a much less severe situation.
Take an important basketball game, with only seconds to go and your team is one point behind. All of a sudden, your teammate gets the ball and shoots-this could give you the victory- but aaghh!!!, he misses the basket and your team loses. "So close and yet so far," would be an apt description of such a frustrating moment. You are so angry and are tempted to let loose, in front of everybody, with a couple of choice rank outs (of course no profanities, G-D Forbid) on your teammate who missed the shot. "You stink…etc, because of you we lost the game!" But you know that you should even give up your life rather then embarrass him in public. So you think, "I may not be ready give up my life, but maybe I can give up this pleasure and outlet of my frustration rather than embarrass him in public." Besides, you are sacrificing your Olom Habo - World to Come, as it says in the Gemoro Bava Metzia 59a, "A person who shames someone in public, loses his share in the World to Come." Is it worth it to lose such a precious reward over some stupid old basketball game?
The truth is, however, that with a little thought we would realize that there really isn't any legitimate reason to rank him out anyway.
First of all, he didn't deliberately miss the shot, he wanted to win maybe more than you did. It happens to everybody, even YOU miss a shot sometimes.
Secondly, the game was not lost only through his shot. The fact is that you only lost by one point. Now think for a moment, you missed a few baskets in the middle of the game. Some other teammates missed a few baskets at the beginning. If any of those baskets would have made it, then you also could have won. So, in fact, you lost the game because of all of you. Remember that this is a team, you all get the credit, when you win, and you all take the blame, when you lose. Just because your friend happened to miss the shot at the last seconds of the game, doesn't make him any more responsible than anyone else.
Knowing the severity of embarrassing people may also help us not to go crazy when someone takes our seat or our piece of chicken. Of course, we can try to explain it to the fellow, but not by yelling and embarrassing him in public. You can try talking normally to him and in private. Anyway, chances are that when you do it this way he'll listen to you. It's very hard for your friend to admit he's wrong in front of everybody.
"But, Rabbi, that way I may not get my seat or chicken," you claim. So I will tell you, "Absolutely, but remember if you're supposed to even give up your life, then maybe you can at least give up your seat or chicken."
And all of this is not only when one is maliciously hurting someone's feeling. One should be careful not to even cause indirectly that someone else should be hurt because of you. As we brought the stories before with Rav Lubchanski and Rav Chodosh.
We don't have to wait for such severe situations to occur to put this into practice. If we would think carefully, we would see that this point comes up quite often in less severe circumstances. And with a little forethought we could avoid an indirect hurting situation.
You are invited to a wedding and you are looking for a ride. Naturally, you ask someone whom you assume was invited to the wedding. But when you ask for the ride, the person embarrassingly tells you that he wasn't invited.
How can you avoid this situation? Just explain to the people who are making the wedding that you need a ride and want to avoid an embarrassing situation. Maybe they can tell you who they invited from your neighborhood with a car.
The next situation is a personal one that I had experienced myself. It was the custom in the Yeshiva that I attended in America, that when one of the fellows got married he wouldn't send his friends in Yeshiva invitations to their homes by the mail. That would cost a lot of postage. Instead, one of the choson's- groom's friends would give out all the invitations in the dining room during lunchtime.
Now imagine the scene. Out of around 500 boys, maybe only 100 get invitations. After all, you can't invite the whole world. Now, the boys who got the invitations joyfully would open them up, in front of everybody, to read them. Of course they don't mean to hurt anybody else's feelings, and maybe the others who weren't invited shouldn't feel hurt. But the bottom line is, not all of the other boys learned enough mussar for it not to hurt them. In fact, many are slighted because they thought they were very close to the choson. I know that I personally felt hurt (except in the rare times that I had received an invitation) and decided quietly to myself that when I would get married I would not give out the invitations that way. (Of course, those that received the invitations at the dining room could have avoided the problem by putting them away and looking at them later in private where it wouldn't hurt anybody).
Well, that great day arrived and I was finally a choson. I realized that now I have to keep my word. On the other hand, it would be quite expensive to send so many invitations in the mail, so I came up with a great compromise.
All incoming mail to the Yeshiva would come into the Yeshiva office, which was in the same vicinity as the Yeshiva. Now, I put all the invitations in the office (without stamps) and the boys picked them up whenever they wanted and read them wherever they wanted. Even if some of the boys read it in front of others, this certainly was not the same as so many boys reading it at the same time at the dining room.
Another point that I was sensitive to concerning weddings happened about 25 years ago. A wedding consists of the actual ceremony or chupa and the festive meal that comes afterward. Now, when I lived in America the custom was that if you were invited to the whole wedding including the meal, you received a return card with the invitation to be able to confirm that you would attend the meal. If you didn't get a return card, that meant you were only invited to the chupa and not the meal. Whoever got a return card could look forward to a beautifully catered meal. Of course that is not the main reason to go to a wedding, but to some of us Yeshiva guys, a good meal doesn't hurt. It is embarrassing to say, but I personally was one of those who looked forward to the meal.
Well, at one wedding, I had received my return card and promptly confirmed that I was coming. When I got there, I was in for a surprise. Instead of the sumptuous meal that I expected, I was introduced to a new concept call a "bachurim table" a buffet type table for some of the unmarried friends of the choson. This didn't have all the fancy foods that everybody else got. In fact, it didn't even have all the food that it was supposed to have (probably a caterer's error). There wasn't even bread or rolls to make a "meal" out of it. I was a bit hungry after this kind of "meal." Now, usually when one gets invited to the regular meal he doesn't eat supper (and sometime not even lunch) in anticipation of the great meal that he expected at the wedding. If I had known what I was going to get at this wedding, I would have eaten before. I understood that the "bachurim table" was to make the wedding less expensive, but why didn't the choson tell us before not to expect a meal, so we would have acted accordingly. I know that this is only food and we shouldn't make such a big deal about it, but we still have to be sensitive to someone else's feelings (especially if that someone else was I). Again, I decided that when I would get married I wouldn't have this "bachurim table".
However, when that great moment arrived, I was being convinced that if you want to invite a lot of your friends you have to make such a table. If you don't do it, you would only be able to invite a fraction of the friends that you wanted to invite.
So, I decided on two remedies to avoid the problem I had encountered years ago.
First of all, when I gave out the invitations, I apologized to every friend that had to be at the bachurim table. I explained that I wish that I could have invited them all for the whole meal, but the budget didn't allow it. Now they knew before the wedding, and could prepare accordingly.
Secondly, I also made sure that the caterer would put a lot of good food on their table and give them plenty of rolls and bread. In fact, at the actual wedding, I went around to those tables to make sure they were being treated properly. I was pleased to hear that they were given such good food that the guests who were at the regular tables came to see if they could get something.
Another common example of insensitivity was brought home to me in an article in the Jewish Observer from many years ago. I think it was called, "The Plight of the Childless Poor."
It was about how parents who were proud of their new children's achievement would talk about it to anyone who would be around, without taking in consideration that one of their friends that was there was married many years without having children. Of course they don't mean to hurt anybody, but with a little forethought they would realize that this is not the proper thing to talk about with them (unless that person asks them about their children).
A woman complained that she and another friend, who were childless for many years, were sitting at a wedding one night. Along comes one of their friends from a different table who didn't know anybody else at their table except for them. This person was just going out for a few minutes to make a call, but felt, for some reason, that she had to explain to them why she was leaving. She said, "Oh, I just have to call the babysitter to see how my little Shloimele is doing. I'll be right back." The woman may have just been trying to be friendly, but doesn't she realize how hurt these women could be when they realize that they don't have to make such calls.
I personally have experienced something similar when I was still looking for a shidduch-match in marriage.
I had been learning in a big Yeshiva and it happened that I went out with a girl who had a brother in the same yeshiva. It was no secret, so this boy knew that I went out with his sister. As had happened many times, it didn't work out, and after only one time she felt it wasn't a shidduch. A while later the brother of this girl felt "obligated" to tell me that his sister just became engaged to someone else. Maybe he felt that since I "knew" her (for at least one night), I would be interested to know. The truth is, had I been working on my middos and studying mussar, I should have rejoiced and thanked him. However, I was far from such things, and all I could think about was this fellow's insensitivity. I thought to myself, "Is he trying to make me jealous? Here I am still a bachelor and his sister, who rejected me, found somebody better." Of course, that wasn't his intention, but he should have thought twice before telling me.
On the other hand, I will now tell you a story of my shidduch adventures where someone did show great concern and sensitivity for my feelings.
Since I was on the shidduch circuit for five years, I had the "honor" to be notified many times, by different matchmakers, in many different ways of the cessation of a shidduch. I could probably write a book on the different expressions that were used to convey the message to me that shidduch # ? decided to call it quits. "Your personalities clash." "It's not a shidduch." "She said, 'It's not for her.' " One of them even said, "She doesn't want to close the door completely on the shidduch, but meanwhile …." I'm still waiting for her to open the door and find out it's too late. In all of these situations the matchmaker made you feel rejected or a loser. Of course it's all Divine Providence and your right shidduch will come, and they don't mean to hurt you, but still one feels somewhat slighted.
There was one exception to this occurrence. I was once approached by a young married fellow in our Yeshiva who was a very ethical person- a real baal mussar. After all, he was a grandson of Rabbi Chazkel Levenstien the famous Mashgiach of Mir, and Ponovez. He arranged an interesting shidduch for me and I went out. When I told him that I was interested in seeing her again, he said he would find out what the girl thought. A while later he came over to me and put his hand around me. Then he said with such sincerity, "Reb Shloima, she's not for you." Then it hit me. He wasn't saying that I was rejected (even though that's exactly what happened). He was saying that she is not good enough for me. There was somebody better waiting for me (and he was right). It doesn't take too much effort to be sensitive to and not to hurt others' feelings.
Unfortunately, as much as I speak and write about sensitivity, I myself fall into the "insensitivity trap."
A few years ago, we made a Bar Mitzvah for my son in Israel. We sent an invitation to the President of our Yeshiva, even though he lived in America. We felt it's the least we could do for all he does for us.
When the President came to Israel a while after the Bar Mitzvah, the Rabbis went to greet him. In the course of the conversation, I asked him if he received the invitation and he affirmed that he did.
Another Rabbi, who knew that I was sensitive to insensitivity, pointed out to me later that I had been insensitive to him. It seems that this Rabbi had just recently made a Bar Mitzvah and did not invite the President. My mentioning the Bar Mitzvah invitation in front of him to the President, made him a little embarrassed. The President may wonder how come he didn't invite me? Of course I didn't realize this, but "sensitivity' means trying to take even remote possibilities into consideration before you open your mouth. (The truth is that after I wrote this story, I realized that this itself is a lack of sensitivity. Someone may read it and realize whom I'm talking about. So, I asked permission from the other Rabbi involved and he allowed me to write it).
I'm going to focus on another type of sensitivity. That is to be sensitive to someone's spiritual necessities. The following story within a story will drive this point home (as well as some other important lessons).
Rabbi Paysach Krohn, in his book, "In the Footsteps of the Maggid", p. 160 brings a beautiful story about the Rosh Hayeshiva of Rabbi Chaim Berlin, Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner, ztl. (1904-1980)
A taxi was arranged to take the Rosh Hayeshiva and one of his students to a bris-circumcision. When they saw the taxi driver's identity plate with his Jewish sounding name on it, they realized that he must be Jewish. Meanwhile, in the front seat, the cab driver realized that one of his passengers was a prominent rabbi. He reached over to his right and put on his cap over his bare head as an act of respect for the Rosh Hayeshiva.
Rav Hutner turned to his student and said in Hebrew, so the driver shouldn't understand, "Mi yodea kama olom habo yesh lo al tenua zu-Who knows how much merit in the World to Come he will get for this act?"
The talmid didn't think that this small sign of respect was so significant so he asked Rav Hutner, "Does it merit Olom Habo-the World to Come?" Thereupon Rav Hutner related the following story.
The Chidushei Harim, Rabbi Yitzchak Mayer Alter (1789-1866), one of the previous Rebbes of Gur, had a custom to go to the mikvah-ritual bath every day. His attendant noticed that he always took the longer route to the mikvah rather than the shorter one, but he never asked why. Finally, one day his curiosity overcame him and he asked the Rebbe why he purposely seemed to go the long way to get to the mikvah.
The Chidushei Harim answered, "When we go this way, we pass the station where Jewish porters unload the heavy packages for travelers. These porters are very simple non-religious people. They do not pray, nor do they learn Torah. However, when they see me, they stop what they are doing, straighten up and call to each other, 'Reb Itcha Myer is coming! The Rebbe, Reb Itcha Myer, is coming!'
As I pass by they nod their heads respectfully and acknowledge my presence. For this (display of kavod HaTorah-honor for the Torah) they will get Olom Habo. I know they have no other way of earning it, so I walk this way every day to give them that opportunity."
Of course we learn from this the great ahavas Yisroel -love and sensitivity for fellow Jews (even non-observant ones) that the Rebbe had, but we can also see another important point. We must not underestimate the small acts that we do, nor the seemingly simple acts that others do.
I'm going to conclude with a story of an amazing display of sensitivity.
Rabbi Paysach Kohn, in his book, "Along the Maggid's Journey," p.110-112, brings a story that was related by the Bluzhover Rebbe, Rabbi Yisroel Spira (1889-1989).
There was a chassid named Reb Mendel Weiner who was a devoted follower of Rabbi Moshe Horowitz of Rozvedov. Rav Mendel was a wealthy man and known for his philanthropy, but sadly, he had no children. Every year Reb Mendel would spend Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur with the Rebbe, and ask the Rebbe to bless him with children. Though the Rebbe blessed him, he still remained childless.
One summer Reb Mendel was traveling on business and stayed over at an inn in a small Polish town. Over there he met Rabbi Horowitz's brother, Reb Meir, the Rabbi of Dzikov. Reb Mendel unburdened himself to Reb Meir about how depressed he was that he had not been blessed with children.
"Come to me for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur," said Reb Meir. "I know that I can help you to be blessed with a son."
For days afterwards, Reb Mendel was in a quandary. He had gone so many years to his own Rebbe. How could he now go and insult his Rebbe by going to the Rebbe's brother instead?
On the other hand, he had gone so many years without a child, and Reb Meir said that he could be helpful, so how could he not go?
Reb Mendel decided to bring this problem to his Rebbe , Rav Moishe and discuss it with him.
The Rebbe replied, "My brother Rav Meir is a great tzadik-righteous person. If he feels that he can help you, then by all means you should be with him for the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Go with my blessings, and may Hashem be with you."
That Rosh Hashana, Rav Moshe's shul was filled to capacity with people from near and far. As he looked around, he was astounded to see Reb Mendel! Why had he not gone to Dzikov?
The Rebbe had his attendant summon Reb Mendel. The Rebbe asked him, " Reb Mendel, I thought we had agreed that you would go to my brother for Rosh Hashanah. What are you doing here?"
"I was thinking about it," replied Reb Mendel. "Everyone knows that I come to you every year. They all assume that I always ask you for the blessing of children. If I were to go to Reb Meir this year and indeed be blessed with a child, people might say that your brother is greater than you, for he could help me and you couldn't. I could not have on my conscience that because of me you should be regarded lightly by anyone. For that reason I chose to come here."
The Rebbe looked at Reb Mendel lovingly and said, "My dear Reb Mendel, for this alone you deserve to have a child this year."
In that year Reb Mendel's son Yossel was born.
The Bluzhover Rebbe , who related the story, concluded, "That is why my grandfather, the Tzvi LaTzaddik, gave special honor to Yossel. His father's loyalty was legendary, and his son was living proof of Hashem's approval."
I hope that if we know to what extent we really should be sensitive, then maybe we will at least try to be more sensitive on our level.
If we only make a serious effort then Hashem will surely help us to reach our goal.
List of Rabbi Price's sichot
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