Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayeitzei

Out of Love

By Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden

Yaakov (Jacob) on his way to the home of his uncle, Lavan (Laban), came to a well, where he would soon meet his future wife, Rachel. As he approached, he noticed shepherds gathered around it. “And Yaakov said to them, ‘Brothers! Where are you from?’” (Beraishis/Genesis 29:4) Why did Yaakov address these complete strangers, “brothers”?

The Talmud (Erchin 16b) teaches “To what extent does one rebuke? Rav says: until the recipient hits you; Shmuel says: until the recipient curses you.” Since there is a specific Torah commandment to rebuke one who is doing wrong, how is one absolved simply because of the recipient’s negative reaction?

Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky (1) explains that the true key to proper and healthy rebuke is to maintain a complete feeling of love for the recipient throughout the admonishment. Furthermore, even if one can maintain a feeling of love, if the recipient does not feel the love the commandment to rebuke ceases to exist. When the recipient is brought to the point where he may hit or curse, it is clear that the feeling of love is not being transmitted, and thus the admonishment must come to an end.

Our Sages note that Yaakov, as he approached the gathering of shepherds around the well, sensed their apathy in fulfilling their job. He approached them with words of rebuke; however, he knew that he must come to them as a true, loving friend. As such, he opened his remarks by addressing them as “brothers.”

Life presents situations where we must clarify to others where they have erred, but it is critical that the rebuke is done out of true love and not personal frustration. If a child, colleague or spouse does not feel the love then not only is the imperative to rebuke questionable, but worse, it could be we who are tragically wrong. How poignant that the Torah teaches us this lesson with Yaakov at the well, where he is about to meet his wife with whom he will be building his family. This is where the discipline of proper rebuke is most important.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) 1891-1986; Rabbi of Tzitevian, Lithuania and Toronto before becoming Rosh Yeshiva/Dean of Mesivta Torah Vodaath in New York City


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Rebuilding the Temple with Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Faithful Contentment
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5774

A Clash of Titans
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

And So The Journey Continues
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

To See or Not to See - That is the Question
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

Points to Ponder
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Foundation of Piety
Shlomo Katz - 5773

The Speech That Never Ends
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Honesty
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

ArtScroll

Personal Judge
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Sense and Sensitivity
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Flight to Freedom
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

> The Darkest Corner
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Small Allusions
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Elusive Allusions
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

About This We Cry!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information