web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Getting Back Together

Front-Page-070612

Here are some thoughts:

Greeting each other: Saying “Shalom aleichem…good morning, how are you?” tells the other person I recognize and care that he or she exists. If you have kavanah when you do it, the person will be happy you care about him or her. Maybe that person is feeling terrible or even, God forbid, suicidal. (I am not joking.)You perhaps have saved his or her life. There are people who just look right through you as if you were invisible; they don’t see anything when they look at you. This means that in their eyes you really don’t exist!Sometimes a person will turn his or her head the other way when passing you – body language for “I don’t want to greet you.” In certain cases we can give the benefit of the doubt, but this definitely happens. I am sure that behavior like this pushes off Mashiach and the Beis HaMikdash.

Returning another person’s greeting: Sometimes you greet someone and he or she ignores you. This is so significant it is considered the equivalent of theft in Jewish law. (Heard in a shiur from Rabbi Yaakov Zev Smith.) How could this be theft? Actually, it’s not so difficult to understand. Here you are greeting your brother or sister with a big smile, investing your heart in that person, and you are rebuffed. He or she is not only throwing cold water on your love but in fact cooling you off from future acts of friendship, because you don’t want cold water thrown on you again. So your chesed is actually being stolen from you. Next time you’re going to think twice about greeting someone, and that is a crime.

Interrupting a conversation: Recently I was conversing with someone when another person walked up and started talking to the person I was speaking with. He didn’t say “Excuse me, please.” He just started talking, as if I weren’t there. That is a breach of derech eretz. Again, it is so vital that each of us values the other person. The other person is a “tzelem Elokim,” made in Hashem’s image. How can Mashiach come when Jews treat each other so contemptuously?

Competition: In our world, competition is considered normal. The basic American motto is “kill the competition.” It is “normal” to try to knock the other guy out in order to become rich. Sorry, folks, but that is not what the Torah wants from us. First of all, there is enough for everyone, and Hashem decides what we are going to earn each year. There is also the matter of “hasagas gevul” – we are prohibited from encroaching upon another person’s livelihood. Rabbi Berel Wein quotes the twelfth-century gadol Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra: “Unfair competition (such as border encroachment) leads to quarrels, violence and even murder.”

Wealth is fine if people gain it and use it in accordance with Torah guidelines and give appropriate tzedakah, but it is important not to take on airs that imply “kochi v’otzem yadi” (Devarim 8:17), meaning I believe I achieved this because I am better and smarter than other people. Sometimes evil people are wealthy and tzaddikim are impoverished. Hashem “humbles the haughty and lifts the lowly” (Shacharis service). We should not fool ourselves into adopting attitudes contrary to Torah.

Parking your car: Do you park between the lines? Can the next car get in? Did you take a “disabled” spot? It’s also a chillul Hashem to park in front of a hydrant. “Dina d’malchusa dina…the law of the land is the law [for us, unless it conflicts with the Torah].” (See Bava Kama 113a, Nedarim 28a, Bava Basra 55a and Gittin 10b.) I know a healthy person who – on his way to meet his chavrusa! – regularly parks at an angle across two parking spaces, both of which are for disabled people. Besides being a chillul Hashem, this is cynical, because it proclaims, “I am above the rules.” This breaks down cooperation and makes the world less friendly.

Derech eretz kadma l’Torah” has countless applications, but think about it: we are supposed to internalize Torah to improve ourselves, but if we cynically take what belongs to our brother or sister, we demonstrate we are not interested in becoming better. I remember hearing that a great rabbi, who was temporarily in a foreign city, would always remove his shoes after 10 p.m. in order not to disturb the downstairs neighbors. I’m sure he trod very quietly even with his shoes on, but he did not want to take a chance. This is the hallmark of a great Jew – not pushing others out of the way, God forbid, but always seeking their welfare.

About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, "2020 Vision" (Feldheim), is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Russian with a Georgian edition in preparation. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul" (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, Georgian edition in preparation) and "Worldstorm." Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com. Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at roy@tosinai.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.


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 “Getting Back Together”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ZIM ship near Oakland, Ca port.
ZIM Piraeus Successfully Unloads, Moves On to Next Port of Call #BlockTheBoat = #EpicFail
Latest Indepth Stories
ZIM Piraeus in happier days. (Image: ShipSpotting.com user b47b56)

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

Sgt. Sean Carmeli, ZT"L

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

(Reposted with permission from author’s website) Moderate truth-teller Daniel Pipes (Dream) has further moderated his stance on Islam by actually entertaining the idea of “Moderate Islamism”, with Andrew C. McCarthy- whom I’ve debated about this- giving it some credence. We’ve gone from Naming the Enemy -Nazism, Communism- to Renaming the Enemy – “Islamic Totalitarianism”, “Radical Islam”, “Islamism”, […]

Maimonides: “Your 1 mitzva may tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world and creation”

Jerusalem has been aware of the importance of China to its growth and security.

In other words, how by any rational playbook can one even begin to explain anti-Semitism?

Israel has nine Iron Domes, but you Mr. Hannity are the tenth.

Entire movements within “orthodoxy” propagate a Judaism of outlandish folklore and Jewish mysticism

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

More Articles from Roy S. Neuberger

Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?

Front-Page-031414

The unwarranted hatred among us that caused the destruction of the Second Temple clearly still plagues us.

At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.

“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.

They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.

Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.

At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.

So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.

What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:

“In those days, when King Achashveirosh sat on his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his officials and servants, the army of Persia and Medea; the nobles and officials of the provinces being present, when he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his splendorous majesty for many days, a hundred and eighty days.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/getting-back-together/2012/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: