JewishAmerica.
Featuring:
jewish continuity
jewish heritage
jewish people
jews of america
jewish community
jewish history
jewish culture
judaism kabala
jewish tradition
jewish life
torah parsha
perspectives
jewish links
jewish interest
jewish humor
jews Israel
holocaust

--

Subscribe - FREE!

Feedback

--

JewishAmerica:
Sharing and caring
on the Internet
--

In Recognition Of
Aish Hatorah
- Reconnecting Jews To Their Heritage

[RWB][RWB]
 
--
[JewishAmerica]
Preserving a near-lost legacy and heritage.
Sharing and Caring on behalf of Torah Judaism
--
--
           flowersVayishlach

Next page / Previous page

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld told the following story about a happening in the town of Shadik, Poland. One of the town's Jewish inhabitants was a vicious slanderer, who kept the Jews in constant fear by threatening to report them to the authorities. He caused so much trouble that the Jews allowed him to have his way and sit at the eastern wall of the main synagogue and be called up for the sixth aliyah to the Torah (both privileges usually reserved for the most important people only). At the time a new Rov came to the town and upon hearing of this impudent fellow decided to deal with him. On Shabbos at the time of the slanderer's aliyah the Rov publicly disgraced and ousted him as he well deserved. Leaving in anger and embarrassment the wicked man swore his revenge on the Rabbi and the community.

A few months later the Rabbi traveled with two students to perform a bris milah in a nearby town. In the distance they perceived the slanderer galloping towards them on his horse. The students were gripped with fear, but the Rov was calm and peaceful. The slanderer dismounted and rushed to the Rov, begging forgiveness in a broken and humble manner! After he had left, the students asked the Rov to explain this change of behavior in the wicked man and so he did: As the man was approaching, the Rov sought salvation in the words of the Torah, and there came to his mind the verse in Proverbs which says that the same way water reflects your same reflection back to you, so too the heart of a man is reflected back to him from the person opposite him. Meaning that if you feel a certain way about someone in your heart, he will reflect back the same type of feeling to you from his heart. So, the Rov continued, I started thinking very positive loving thoughts about the wicked man, judging him favorably and removing any hatred of him from my heart. Therefore when he came to me his heart was infused with loving thoughts as well and he came in peace.

Rabbi Sonnenfeld concluded by bring a proof to this axiom from this week's parsha, Vayishlach. The messengers reported that Aisav still hates Yaakov, and Yaakov hated Aisav as well, not for personal reasons but because Aisav was an enemy of Hashem. However, when Aisav drew close with four hundred men the verse relates that Yaakov bowed down seven times until he came close to his brother. This means that not only did Yaakov bow literally, but in his mind he bent his thoughts low and changed them to merit for Aisav until he came close to his BROTHER, i.e. he could think brotherly feelings toward Aisav. When Aisav was confronted with these powerful feelings of love and acceptance from Yaakov (his enemy who took his birthright and blessing, let us not forget) his heart was forced to mirror them and return them, as indicated by the kiss and hug that he gave Yaakov. (Adapted from sefer Lekach Tov )

The Torah teaches us here a powerful tool in human relationships. We have only to work on our own selves, filling ourselves with love, understanding, sympathy, empathy, brotherhood, and these feelings must without a doubt influence the other person. We can effect a change in a spouse, a child, friend, etc. by improving our own selves and thereby bringing them closer to us. If there is ever chas veshalom an argument between two people, it is within our hands- not the other fellow- to make amends. No one, not even the wicked Aisav, can resist the outpouring of love from his fellow human being's heart.

Next page / Previous page

Index Of Articles

[bar]

[Home]


------
In Loving Memory Of Our Father, Mr. Joseph Black (Yosef Ben Zelig) O"H
In Loving Memory Of Our Mother, Mrs. Norma Black (Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh) O"H
------

[bar]


Rabbi General's Warning: Unbridled web surfing is not recommended. Navigate the web with caution. Use the Internet in a way so that it enhances quality of life for yourself as a person, as a family member, and as a member in society. The Internet can enhance the mastery of Torah knowledge and it can also interfere. If you are able to study in a Bet Medrash at this time then you should do so right now.

© 1996- by Harlan Black, JewishAmerica. All rights reserved.

[bar]