web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


D'VARIM

Don’t Believe Everything They Say About Us

Human nature is such that hearing something over and over again for forty years will inevitably have an impact on the person.
Moses_Pleading_with_Israel

That is why he hit the rock instead of talking to the rock. Moses made the colossal error of thinking that he was the one doing the decision making and not God. Subconsciously, he decided to hit the rock to do it his own way. For this he was punished.

Now, while recounting the story of the spies and the accusation that he was a lone ranger acting without God’s approval Moses tells the people how much he was affected by their complaints. He tells the Israelites that their constant complaining had an effect on him and when he hit the rock part of it was because of what the Israelites had been saying to him for all those years.

The reason Moses was punished was because he hit the rock. But maybe the reason he hit the rock was because of the sort of complaints he had been subject to for 40 years. Case in point, the sin of the spies and the accusations and insults which accompanied the incident. Moses was told too many times that he was a renegade leader. Eventually his mind fooled him into believing it, if only for just a millisecond. But the damage was done. Moses hit the rock. Thus Moses mentions that he has been punished and will not be entering the Land of Israel while recounting the story of the spies.

In our lives we hear a lot about ourselves. Our parents and teachers tell us what they think about us. Friends and acquaintances make us aware of their opinions. Bosses and co-workers may express their feelings about us. Spouses and children tell us all that we need to know about ourselves. What they say might be true, it might not be true, but it definitely makes a difference.

We have to place ourselves in situations where we hear the right things about ourselves. Too much praise or too much criticism can make a real impression on our own thoughts about ourselves. Whether it artificially inflates our sense of self-worth, or if it artificially deflates our self-confidence, what other say about us makes a difference. It is wise for us to consider our social environment and analyze how we are being talked about in our daily lives.

Conversely, we have a huge responsibility to think about what we say about others. When it comes to our children, we have so much to say about them. Are we critical? Are we honest about their failings? Do they hear how much we love them? Do they hear how proud we are of their accomplishments? Do they hear a barrage of criticism? Do they get reminded of their shortcomings or negative personality quirks regularly?

We have so much power over what our children think of themselves. It would be wise for us to maximize their feelings of confidence and imbue them with an honesty about rising up to their challenges. What we say about them in person and what they hear us say about them will make a very big difference in the way they think about themselves.

The Jewish people as a whole are routinely discussed in the public arena. They say we are too much or this, or too little of that. We hear Jews being talked about it all the time. We read descriptions of Jewish people or Jewish ideas. Hearing lies over and over will take a toll on our collective psyche. We need to be sure that we do not believe everything we hear about ourselves. We cannot allow negativity dictate our communal mood.

It can be hard to stonewall what we hear about us as a group or as individuals. But being aware of the potential harm in believing our own publicity is the first step in avoiding it.

Above all, we cannot neglect our incredible opportunity to positively shape how others think about themselves. There is no part of our lives that this is more important that how we deal with our children and spouses. Let us use this knowledge to shower those closest to us with love, affection, positivity, and honesty. - Good Shabbos

Visit Fink or Swim.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, J.D. is the rabbi at the famous Pacific Jewish Center | The Shul on the Beach in Venice CA. He blogs at finkorswim.com. Connect with Rabbi Fink on Facebook and Twitter.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Don’t Believe Everything They Say About Us”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ilana Medar, 18, of Paris, made Aliyah last year.
Jewish Agency Planning for Massive Aliyah of 120,000 French Jews
Latest Blogs Stories
kiruv-shafran

Responsible Jewish outreach encourages BTs to retain and to enhance their relationship with parents

Caroline Glick

Israelis will vote for Likud because of Caroline Glick, but she’ll just be Right window dressing.

Doug Goldstein

What are the dynamics of running a family business and what are its impact on family relationships?

Paris anti-terror march

The Hareidi paper HaMevaser wanted to have their cake and eat it too: use the photo; lose the women

Producer Chuck Wang explains how you can learn from mistakes and move on towards success.

Chareidi women who want to run for political office don’t suit the full definition of “chareidi.”

France inviting Abbas to the “anti-terror rally” makes me doubt it takes Muslim terrorism seriously

How could a Jewish family hide on the 3rd floor of a hotel where the Germans were on the 1st floor?

No Charedi leader has suggested a change that would make a difference to a failing paradigm

What is the “rookie mindset” and what can new trainees offer to the workplace?

And now for MORE Muslim musings-Go Ask Ayman-

This terror won’t respond to reason or logic. It must be hunted down. Destroyed. No trial/No talking

Israel as the Jewish State insures freedom of worship and security of Jews here and around the world

The average Israeli may not fulfill all mitzvos but shops at the mitzvah “store” regularly

Obama-style diplomacy: “Kerry Brings Hugs and James Taylor to Repair Relations with France”

The Israeli phenomenon: The least known candidate gets a disproportionately high amount of votes

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Fink
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

People act not because they think it’s right; they do what they do because it’s what they want to do

Dusk in the early morning hours seen from Mt Meron, Northern Israel. March 26, 2014.

What do we do when we want to be mad at God but we also want God to make it all better? Indeed, what do we do?

Rambam would also allow charity from a mumar as long as the person maintains basic belief in God and Judaism.

There is no song that tells the story of freedom like Shir HaShirim.

It is unfair to judge a 52 year old man with the glasses of a person who lives in a different world.

Adegbile was not making a moral statement by representing a man convicted of killing a cop.

Women learning Torah is becoming increasingly permissive, but women wearing tefillin is becoming increasingly stringent.

When the “offensive” statements in our Talmud were stated, no one thought they were offensive.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fink-or-swim/dont-believe-everything-they-say-about-us/2013/07/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: