Unity of Education – Rabbi Sacks TED2017!
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Without Unity – Where Is G-d? How to Criticize Your Husband
If You Don’t Love Me, Don’t Expel Me By: Rabbi YY Jacobson
A couple had two little mischievous boys, ages 8 and 10. They were always getting into trouble, and their parents knew that if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons would get the blame.
The boys’ mother heard that a rabbi in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The rabbi agreed and asked to see them individually.
So, the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the rabbi in the afternoon.
The rabbi, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, “Where is G-d?”
They boy’s mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open.
The rabbi repeated the question. “Where is G-d?”
Again, the boy made no attempt to answer.
So, the rabbi raised his voice some more and shook his finger in the boy’s face and bellowed, “Where is G-d!?”
The boy screamed and bolted from the room. He ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him.
When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, “What happened?”
The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied: “We are in real big trouble this time! G-d is missing, and they think we did it!”
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It is easy to define somebody as “impure” if you do not understand their pain, but it is unethical. Before you punish, you must first learn how to be a Kohen, how to really care about others. When criticism, punishment and even dismissal are motivated by concern for the person rather than your own rage or incompetence, it will have a totally different effect on the person you are punishing. Your criticism will build, rather than destroy, this person’s character. What is equally important, you will not cease to labor that the situation be reversed and the individual returns to his or her potential glory.
So next time before you criticize your spouse, stop and ask yourself if you are doing it as a “Kohen,” out of concern and care for them, or as a result of your stress or anger.
If that is the case, you ought to remain silent until you can transcend your self-absorption and enter into the world of another human being.
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