Punishment with Purpose

“It's a sight I’ll never forget! A tremendous earthquake exploded in front of our eyes. Wild fire, thick, black smoke and flying boulders replaced the blue skies and soft breezes this tropical island is renowned for,” remarked the tour guide, as he recalled for us the eventful day of exactly one year ago. “The news… Continue reading Punishment with Purpose

Effective Reproof (conclusion)

"אלה הדברים אשר דבר"-The posuk could have said אשר אמר or אשר הגיד, with אמר representing a softer language and הגיד a harsher one. We learn that Moshe gave reproof according to the objective severity of each transgression. Not too soft and not too hard. An over-exaggerated reaction to a transgression or the opposite, will… Continue reading Effective Reproof (conclusion)

A Strong Hand and a Loving Heart

Parents’ number one love is their children. Their concern for them is so overwhelming that it overrides all other interests or needs. At the slightest sign of intended harm, parents will do everything to protect their children. The Midrash Shemos Rabbah 1:1, as it introduces parshas Shemos, brings the posuk, "חושך שבטו שונא בנו ואוהבו… Continue reading A Strong Hand and a Loving Heart

Even Weak Students Deserve Fair Attention

“This time you brought me a package deal”, the morning Rebbe told the Rosh Yeshiva in an air marked with cynicism and haughtiness, as he summarized the “virtues” of the new student who had arrived only few days earlier to the Yeshiva. The Rosh Yeshiva held himself back, realizing that a quick, defensive reaction would… Continue reading Even Weak Students Deserve Fair Attention

One Good Midah

“Reuven was a ball of fire in class today,” explained the history teacher at the weekly teachers’ meeting. “He just couldn’t sit still.” “At least he wasn’t chutzpadick to you,” said the math teacher. “When I told him to write an assignment on the board he told me that he had better things to do.”… Continue reading One Good Midah

The Power of Parental Influence

The story in the Torah where Dina is defiled by Shechem is the classic case of a parent having a negative influence on his/her son/daughter without considering the consequence of his/her action. The posuk reads, "ותצא דינה בת לאה אשר ילדה ליעקב לראות בבנות הארץ" – "And Dina, the daughter of Leah, who was born… Continue reading The Power of Parental Influence