Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
Years ago, when I was in college, I took an undergraduate course in law. I don’t remember much of what I learned, but the concept of criminal negligence has stuck in my mind. The professor pointed out that there are actions that are so thoughtless and inconsiderate of other people’s physical safety and well being that they are viewed as being criminal despite the fact that there was no obvious intent to inflict harm. Hence the legal situation labeled “criminal negligence”.
The professor gave an example of this kind of “uncaring to the point of being against the law.” He spoke of a man who dug a huge pit in an area where people pass by. He did not post any lit warnings, he did not set lights around it, nor did he cover the opening with a metal sheet or put a barrier or fence around it.
During the night, a person out for a stroll fell in and broke his neck.
Another case involved someone shooting his gun into the air. A quarter mile down the road, a woman retrieving her mail was felled by a bullet to her head.
Although the man who dug the pit and the person shooting the gun did not intend to harm anybody, their blatant lack of consideration were viewed by the legal system as being negligent to the point of being criminal.
Sadly, there are people who should know better, who perpetrate what I call “crimes of insensitivity”. Their lack of thought and caring when dealing with other people is reprehensible. The damage they inadvertently inflict is emotional, even spiritual. Sometimes the pain that results is harder to heal than physical injuries.
Case in point: a woman at a simcha is bragging about her darling grandchildren, waving around pictures of smiling babies and grinning toddlers, knowing that there are several women at the table who are childless. Or a young wife is showing off the gorgeous jewelry her husband bought her to her single friends. Or a man shares with his unemployed chavrusa that he got a raise and is going to buy a new car.
It’s unrealistic and unfair to expect people to go around pretending that they don’t have grandchildren or spouses or good things in the lives in order to spare the feeling of those lacking in those areas. But there is a time and place and manner to do so that will not leave the one who is missing these achievements or milestones reeling with a soul-afflicting sense of pain and loss.
If someone single or childless asks how is your new baby, you can thank him or her for asking. If the other party says, “do you have any pictures?” then show them. Sometimes it is hard to rein in your excitement or enthusiasm, but you have to consider whom you are speaking to and give thought to how your words will affect them. Some people will not be negatively affected, and will encourage you to share their lives with them. Others, especially if they are hurting from their inability to achieve their goals like marriage, parnasa, good health or children, may feel emotionally pummeled.
You must take care to put a “fence” around your words so that these vulnerable people do not fall into an emotional pit.
Thee are some people who make a point of “rubbing in ” their good fortune to those who haven’t attained the same achievements. They boast and brag non-stop about their achievements or possessions. It makes them feel superior. These people are to be pitied.
They either possess a lack of self-esteem that propels then make others feel less accomplished, or they are just plain stupid, blissfully oblivious of the sharp sting of their words.
Lashon Hara (negative speech) is not restricted to the uttering of gossip or tale bearing. It includes anything that comes out of one’s month that causes tza’ar – pain or misery and that minimizes another person. With Yom Hadin – the Day of Judgement fast approaching, it might be a good idea to think before you speak, so that the Heavenly Court will be similarly sensitive with you.
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Dear Dr. Yael:
Do you really believe that the Internet is the reason why the divorce rate is so high among young couples? This may be so in some cases, but what about the fact that many singles are pressured to get married at a young age despite not having any idea what they are looking for in a mate? And add to that the fact that many are pressured to make a decision about marriage after dating for a very short period of time.
From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.
Shel Silverstein’s 1974 poem “Where The Sidewalk Ends” is intended to paint a magical picture of a world of peace and serenity far away from the “black and dark streets.” At the time, perhaps the end of the sidewalk was a place that was “measured and slow.” Today, however, for many parents, where the sidewalk ends can feel like a scary place.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Florida is famous for sparkling water. We have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico surrounding our coast. We have bays, lakes, canals and, of course, an incredible abundance of swimming pools in homes, resorts, apartment complexes and city parks.
The buzz is back as Camp Gan Israel Florida Overnight gears up for another fantastic summer, CGI Florida style. What makes CGI Florida so different from all the other overnight camps? It’s all in the details.
Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in school was Tefillah. Since we spoke only Ivrit during our Limudei Kodesh and secular Hebrew studies – literature, creative writing and Jewish history – we pretty much understood the words we were davening.
Shortly before Pesach, I received a rather agitated call from a long time reader of The Jewish Press who pleaded with me to write a column regarding what she insisted was the unwarranted high cost of Pesach food – in particular shmurah matzah – and how hard it was for young families to pay what she felt were over-inflated prices in order to keep strictly kosher.
The price of deliberate obliviousness is very high – emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.
How is it possible that a person of seemingly normal intelligence (nowhere does it say he is simple) not have the ability to ask a question – to not react and enquire as to the why of the hustle and bustle around him?
It was one of those cold, rain-soaked evenings – the kind that make you look forward to a hot drink, a good book and a soft couch to curl up on. With those happy thoughts in mind, I proceeded to cross to the other side of the street.
The other day I was shopping at a large supermarket and happened to go down the frozen foods aisle, past the endless freezers containing every imaginable flavor, shape and size of ice cream. I rarely buy. Rather I am like a tourist in a museum – gawking at wondrous objects that I know I can’t take home with me.
He stood his ground despite the intense pressure to do what everyone else was doing. His integrity was more important to him than “fitting in.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/criminal-insensitivity/2004/10/06/
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