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Author:  MICHELLE
E-mail:  not available
Date:  4/4/2004 10:45:00 PM
Subject:  MIDOT TOVOT II
Message:  Author: michelle
E-mail: not available
Date: 3/29/2004 11:59:33 PM
Subject: midot tovot
Message: Dear Rabbi,
I have been reading your correspondense with a person who calls himself "sharpie". I must say I hold alot of respect for the work you do. It must be exhausting and trying. Although I must say I was sad to read the way you and "sharpie" spoke to each other. It certainly is not the way your followers should learn to speak. I feel you should present a more diplomatic response no matter how rude and disrespectable the message is. The average person looks to their rabbis for guidance just as a child imitates their parents. Please show your followers the proper, Midot by responding to these kinds of e-mail while holding your integrity intact. I sadly say I questioned whether I want to follow your halachic answers because I now question your midot. It would be a shame to nulify all your hard work by conversing with someone who brings you down to their level.Hold on to your values Rabbi, and the rest of us will see who to believe in. Thank you for all your hard work. Have a Hag Kasher Vesameach.
Michelle

    
Reply: I understand your feelings, but it is based on a more liberal American outlook.

The Torah requires us to lash out at such people. It's not from anger, but from my respect for my religion, my God, and his Torah. If you had an opportunity to study the Talmud and the many other Seforim, you will see that certain things require a serious mouthful in response.

You need to know when & where, but I think we take more than we give. A bit of our problem these days is taking that stand down liberal attitude.

We don't determine right and wrong from our feelings. We have books for that.

AA

RABBI,
MY MOTHER ALWAYS TAUGHT ME YOU CATCH MORE BEES WITH HONEY. I THINK IF YOU SPEAK WITH RESPECT AND LOVE FOR YOUR RELIGION, YOUR GOD AND YOUR TORAH PEOPLE WILL FOLLOW. ALL I KNOW IS WHEN I SPEAK TO MY CHILDREN HARSHLY, OR AS YOU SAY LASH OUT, THEY DON'T LISTEN TO ME, IT ONLY SENDS THEM THE OTHER WAY. IT'S TRUE I AM CERTAINLY NOT LEARNED, ESPECIALLY NOT ON YOUR LEVEL, BUT I FEEL THAT WE SHOULD DO WHATEVER WORKS TO GET PEOPLE TO LOVE AND RESPECT OUR RELIGION, OUR GOD AND OUR TORAH. THANK YOU FOR COVERSING WITH ME.
HAG SAMEACH AND ESPECIALLY KASHER
MICHELLE
   
Reply:  We have been given by God a complex set of rules and very specific detailed regulations as to exactly how to behave.
It cannot be driven by feelings, but rather by orders of our Torah.
If Abraham went with his feelings he certainly would not have attempted to sacrifice his son. King Shaul followed his feelings to disobey the Prophet Shmuel's instructions, and was stripped of his kingdom.
I agree with your approach in 90% of cases, and especially in Chinuch (education) of children. There is a certain element in our communities that is poisonous. They push their opinions on everyone else, and force everyone to their extremist mentality. They are often aggressive, arrogant, and obnoxious. Believe me, I grew up with many of them. These people destroy the world and have been causing the delay of our Messiah coming. The average Jew is too soft, too tired, and too oblivious to give them an argument. This has given them the upper hand and the control of our mainstrean observant Judaism.

Our responsibility is to speak out. Each and every person that can say something and possibly avoid even one person from being effected by them, and they do not do it, but rather keep quiet. This person will be responsible and will be considered an accessory to those crimes. This is a Gemara in Shabbat (around 46a). It is in almost every Sefer. See the Gr"a, the Shevet Mussar, the Shl"a, the Aruch Hashulchan, the Meiri, the Reishit Chachmah, and all over. But especially the Gemara in Shabbat.

Then you can look at the Hagaddah. Yeah! We are reading it tonight. It says about "the four sons." The Rasha is the bad one and we tell him some pretty rude things. There is a whole set of rules on how to deal with such people. Unfortunately many took the silent approach and are thus responsible for the deterioration of our religion and of the correlation between the Torah and the rules we live by. Sorry, but I also wish things would be more like a Norman Rockwell painting.
Chag Sameach!
AA

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