Kindness is such an essential Jewish trait that we are told to suspect that a cruel person is not really Jewish. The media constantly uplifts us with inspirational stories about saintly people who radiated love to their fellowman and did their utmost to avoid hurting others. Yet we are also told, "Those who are kind to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the kind" (Koheles Raba 7:16). It is not a kindness to allow ourselves to be abused, exploited or manipulated. By not taking protective action when possible, we encourage destructive behavior. The following stories are examples of naïve and trusting people who paid a heavy price for being overly "nice."
Last week, a frum-from-birth mother in one of my classes thanked me for encouraging her to stay home with her last baby (which was her sixth). She said, "Until I met you, I didn't know it was important for babies to be cuddled or held. Thanks to you, I decided to nurse for the first time and it was a wonderful experience. Instead of rushing off to work in the morning, he got a calm mom - at least until I returned to part-time work when he was eight months old."
How you feel is up to you.
They arrive here in a blind rush, at times in the middle of the night, wearing nothing more than pajamas, an attempt to escape years of sadistic abuse.
The most powerful message you gave me was to think about how to make the person I am dating feel special when he is around me.
Dear Dr. Yael: My in-laws have a wonderful reputation in our community. They are looked upon as truly charitable and giving people. However, charity should begin at home. My in-laws never helped us financially, even when approached gracefully and tactfully. But they often give generously to their shul’s tzedakah funds, among other charities – as long as the public recognizes their contributions.
There are millions of adults today who experienced the trauma of their parents’ divorce 20, 30, 40 or more years ago. Some have found closure, but many more have not. Regrettably, it is a time in a child’s life that is never forgotten. It stays with you; it is part of who you are.
The country's economic indicators may be falling, but incidents of domestic violence are rising.
Where is her empathy and understanding for me?
Some say that the cortex is what makes us human.
Menchlichkeit, good middos, patience and wisdom are the accolades I heard over and over again by stepchildren and stepparents when I asked them to describe the attributes of a good stepparent.
The fighting is out of control and upsets my wife very much.
Dena was the star of her nursery class. All the kids loved her and the teachers gushed to her mother, “Dena is so kind. She shares with everyone and is so inclusive. When we have circle time, she sits attentively and she is always ready with a detailed and fun answer.”
Take a moment to identify the people, times, and things that give you pleasure.