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Only he who is capable of standing courageously and rebuking leaders is worthy of leadership. In the words of Rabbi Yonatan (Sanhedrin 101b): “Why did Jeroboam merit the crown? Because he rebuked Solomon.” But it is important to take note of the continuation of this account: “And why was he (Jeroboam) punished? Because he rebuked him in public.” (Rashi comments that he rebuked him in public in order to embarrass him.)
Rebuke must be aimed at improvement alone. Therefore, we must make sure that our criticism is founded upon truth, and that it is voiced with the sole intention of bringing about that improvement. This, after all, is the definition of the Torah commandment to admonish, as it is written, “Do not hate your brother in your heart; you must admonish your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him,” and in the next verse, “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am God” (Leviticus 19:17-18).
There is evil in the world. Some of it stems from direct intention and some from laziness. Without criticism, there will be no room for change.
About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, a leader of Israel’s religious-Zionist community, is dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha and a prolific author on Jewish Law. His books “The Laws of Prayer,” “The Laws of Passover” and “Nation, Land, Army” are being translated into English. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas
No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.
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Once again, Israeli leftists, with assistance from the media, are composing songs, lighting candles and organizing dances around a new golden calf. This time it is the demand to do “everything possible” to bring home the captured soldier Gilad Shalit.
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Rabbi Avraham Isaac HaCohen Kook (1865-1935) was an extraordinary Torah giant. His genius was astounding – there was no field of Torah study he had not mastered. His recall was astonishing – great scholars related that no matter what Torah subject they discussed with him it would appear as if he had just recently learned the issue in depth.
With the arrival of the new year, we must stop to reflect upon our deeds in order to pave the way for self-improvement. The current crisis here in Israel indicates that there is a serious problem. By drawing the necessary conclusions now, we can emerge from these difficulties into the light of solace and salvation.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/124882/2008/09/24/
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