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Author:  a reader
E-mail:  not available
Date:  4/23/2008 8:25:00 PM
Subject:  About "Upset at Rabbi's Seder"
Message:  I think the problem with the story is beyond the question if those candies are or are not kosher for passover (according to the custom of that Rabbi). I would not be delighted with my children if they accept food from someone who is not to be trusted, and would make sure they hear my comment on that; but, after all, they are children. I admit i would be on the other hand pretty annoyed (to use an understatement) with the adult. I would be annoyed even though I am no Rabbi. I am sure that Ann meant well, but, she does not seem to realize that education is based on respect, and respect that is learned by children is based on the respect that other people show to their parents and teachers. Does Ann think she showed proper respect to a father and to a Rabbi? Chag Sameach.
Reply:  There is an old rule, that I learned in school the hard way, 'two wrongs don't make a right'.
That said, no matter what someone does to you, you should never react angrily. It is not correct, nor is it healthy for children to see that, nor is it a positive attribute for anyone of any stature, let alone a Rabbi, who is respected by people, nor is it a successful means of a positive relationship with anyone.
Yes, you are right that she should not have given the children anything before approving it by the parents, but she is not educated in the craziness that grips people Pesach time and so she has no idea what she did wrong. However, the person she looks up to, her Rabbi, would be the person to explain it to her, but he lost his chance. Now, she doesn't respect him. Ouch, another possibly turned off lost soul.
However, never despair, if Ann is really searching, Hashem will send her the right messenger at each stage of her life to help her reach the ultimate goal. Many people become baalei teshuva through the help of the reform movement. They look into them searching for their Jewish roots and realize they are in the wrong place and come looking for frum Jews. The reform system was easier for them to approach initially, because they don't look or act very Jewish and there is no fear of having to change one's life styles like in Fiddler on the roof. See, even they have a purpose in Judaism. Our prayers are that all Jews all over the world return to the correct way of the Torah, however they get there.

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