Raise The Bar
By Rabbi Raymond Beyda
It is not unusual to see two people arguing and to observe that you have
to be a fool to fight. Things that are said during a heated exchange may
make sense to the combatants but rarely sound smart to others in the
vicinity of the battleground.
When one loses one's temper, one usually loses one's mind as well. One of
the big errors that many make is to argue with another who is not on their
level intellectually. In Mishle [26:4] King Solomon advises "Do not
answer a fool according to his folly." Today we would say "Don't stoop to
his level." When you are trapped into dealing with someone who was not
blessed with your "smarts" and refinement pull them up towards you rather
than stoop to his or her level.
If one of those types gets your goat - keep cool and keep your head up
at your level. You don't have to respond to all that they say -- silence
is truly golden. And when you really must reply keep it "UP" at a level
worthy of you -- not suitable to your adversary. It only takes a minute to
seek your own level.
DID YOU KNOW THAT
The Rabbis instituted the "Morning Blessings" [Birkhot Hashahar] every
day, which are blessings regarding the constant order of creation and its
conduct, because it is forbidden to benefit from this world without a
blessing [berakha] and anyone who does benefit from this world without a
blessing is considered as one who has trespassed or stolen from holy
The first blessing -- Elokai Neshama -- does not follow the regular
formula of blessings as it does not open with the word "Barukh" and it
does not contain the sovereignty aspect of blessings the words "Elokenu
One should be careful to pause between the word 'Elokai" and the
word "Neshamah" to avoid sounding as if one is saying that their Lord --
"Elokai" -- is named "Neshamah". [Source Halakha Berurah, volume 3. Siman
46:1 note1, 2]
CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE
Life is a balancing act. It is true that haste often makes waste but it is
also true that delay allows good things to spoil.One must know when to run
and when to walk slowly.
Raymond J Beyda
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.