web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

The Quest For Honor

 

Dear Readers,

In last week’s column we read about a marriage that is dissolving after many years, due to an apparently dysfunctional relationship. The writer, who claims to be close to both the husband and wife, lays the blame squarely on the husband – who, from her description, is so self-absorbed as to be oblivious to anyone else’s needs aside from his own.

See No Easy Cure has analyzed the crux of the problem to be the man’s insatiable desire for kavod – honor. His arrogance has caused him to believe he is “too important to discuss anything trivial enough to actually interest another person.”

 

Dear See No Easy Cure,

Right off the bat, one is likely to attribute such vice to an earlier-in-life attention deprivation. Honor is, after all, the highest form of attention one can garner in recognition of one’s desirable qualities, exceptional character, grand accomplishments and/or contributions to society. A person deprived of attention in his or her growing years is more likely to seek and crave this type of adulation and validation as an adult.

Thus a psychological evaluation would not necessarily name the malady as a quest for kavod, but rather as a case of severe low-esteem. This may also be the reason this man is incapable of holding down a job. And by self-aggrandizing, he compensates for his feelings of inadequacy. To boot, his wife may have been so put off by his consistent obnoxiousness that by misunderstanding where her husband is coming from she could have made matters worse between them with her show of disapproval and putdowns.

Whatever the reason one craves honor or hugs the limelight, it is definitely a most unhealthy trait. As you have pointed out, we are taught that jealousy, lust and the pursuit of honor remove one from this world. These negative tendencies eat at one’s peace of mind and interfere with one’s simchas ha’chaim. The sufferer is “driven from this world” due to his inability to see or focus on anyone but himself.

There is a story told about the Chofetz Chaim, of an instance when he declined to be honored, claiming that kavod is a sakana for the neshama (hazardous for the soul). The Mishnah, he explained, says envy, lust and honor drive a person from this world. It does not state “the person who wants the kavod or pursues the kavod…” – which comes to teach that kavod in and of itself, even when not coveted, is a sakana to the person on the receiving end.

You say the desire for kavod is so formidable a foe because to many of us it is “normal.” As an example you cite that we consider it “better” to be a doctor than a nurse. The “better income” is surely a factor. However, it is doubtful that one becomes a doctor for the kavod. Whereas his Yiddishe Mamme may kvell with pride over her son the doctor, his decision to enter the medical field is based on his natural aptitude for the profession. Moreover, doctors ironically are the most apt to become humbled as they come face to face with niflaos ha’Boreh (the wonders of our Creator) on a daily basis.

As individuals, we certainly have a right to feel pride in reaching our G-d given potentials and putting our talents to use by becoming the best we can be, whether as doctors, nurses, electricians, plumbers, teachers, or homemakers, etc. – while at the same time recognizing and appreciating the fact that our wherewithal comes from Hashem and that without His gift and guidance we could not possibly succeed in any chosen field.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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 “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest Sections Stories
book-diversity-divine

For each weekly reading, Rabbi Grysman begins with a synopsis of the Torah portion, followed by a focus on a major issue.

South-Florida-logo

It’s Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Time for a fresh start. Time for a new slate. Time for change.

South-Florida-logo

Governor Rick Scott visited North Miami Beach/Aventura on the morning of Wednesday, September 17.

South-Florida-logo

While the cost per student is higher than mainstream schools, Metzuyan Academy ESE is a priceless educational opportunity for children with special needs in South Florida.

Challah-pa-looza helped get the community ready and excited about the upcoming Jewish New Year.

Miami businessman and philanthropist Eli Nash had many in tears as he shared his story of the horrific abuse he suffered from age 8 to 11.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-294/2014/01/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: