When a parent disciplines his or her offspring the intent is to train the child to behave according to the values and mores of the adult. Imposing one’s will on a child is called education, training or upbringing. Society accepts the imposition of one’s values on a child and even encourages it. Many books and seminars teach the techniques of training a child to grow in the path that you have chosen for the little one. Rarely will one stop a parent from critically barking at a child, “Joseph, don’t climb on the fence,” or Sarah, don’t raise your voice” or “Abraham, don’t use those kinds of words ever again”.
The picture takes on a different hew when one criticizes a friend, neighbor or co-worker. Often a critical comment, especially one said in front of others, will create resentment a backlash from its intended positive purpose. To overcome the urge to tell another “my way is better” takes a lot of effort and a real understanding of one’s own motivations. One trap is the urge to play G-d. Unlike G-d who has provided us with a set of standards and then leaves it up to each individual to make free- will choices, we want to impose our will on others. Some people just feel that they are closer to our Maker than others they are the favorite son or daughter. Others feel that if I can get others to think as I do then I will not be alone in this sea of humanity called the world. Whatever the motivation the result is if you don’t do it my way you should change.
Today, when you are about to criticize another stop. Think about your motive. Are you considering what is best for the other guy or are you merely imposing your will on another? It only takes a minute but it will help you build relationships rather than suffer a blow from a boomerang.
DID YOU KNOW THAT
The blessing on a banana is Boreh Peri Haadamah even though it grows on a banana “tree”. Should one have a banana and an apple (or any other fruit of the tree), it is best to say the blessing on the banana first (although the blessing Haetz usually precedes Haadamah) and then one should say the blessing required for the apple. When saying the blessing on the banana the person should have specific intent NOT to fulfill his or her obligation to say a blessing on the apple. After the fact, however, if one did say the blessing on the apple first, one still must say a blessing on the banana, as one does not have a banana in mind when one says Haetz on the apple. [Source Yalkut Yosef, Vol. 3, Siman203: 3]
CONSIDER THIS FOR A MINUTE
Rav Yosef taught priorities in lending money to others. When the parties are a rich man and a poor man one must lend the poor man first. If one of the poor people is a relative and the other a stranger from your city your relative is given priority. Should one of the loan seekers be from your city and the other from somewhere else the resident of your home takes precedence.
The Gemara teaches, “One who lends with interest will lose financially!”
“But”, inquires the Talmud, “we see many who lend without interest and they too suffer losses”.
“Yes, that is true”, replies the Gemara, “but the one who lends without interest will eventually make a comeback while the one who lends with interest does not rise again!”
NOTE: We see again that the Torah attitude is that one who lends to others without charging interest is blessed while one who charges the illegal profit on a loan will eventually suffer financial losses.
Raymond J Beyda
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.