Showing Disrespect for Talmidei Chochomim 2

  1. When commenting, in writing, on the opinion of a talmid
    Chochom
    , a person should be careful to express his objections in a way
    that demonstrates respect and humility. Just as it is forbidden to speak
    disrespectfully of a talmid chochom, it is forbidden to write in a way
    that is disrespectful.

  2. The prohibition of showing disrespect for a talmid
    chochom
    includes embarrassing another person in front of him, for the very
    fact that a person would not feel ashamed to do so in his presence shows that
    he does not really respect him.

  3. The prohibition of showing disrespect for a talmidei
    chochom
    also includes saying lashon hora or receiving lashon
    hora
    about a talmid chochom. When hearing lashon hora about
    a talmid chochom, a person should, according to his abilities, rebuke
    the person who is speaking lashon hora and cover his ears, as Rebbe
    Elazar used to do (Makos 24a), as it is written “who seals his ears from
    hearing of bloodshed…(Yeshaya 33:15).

  4. To call a talmid chochom by his name alone, without
    the title which is fitting for a person of his stature, is also forbidden, as
    is, of course, addressing him in a way that is degrading.

  5. The avera of showing disrespect for a talmid
    chochom
    is more severe according to the number of people who witness it.
    It is a great avera even when a person does so unintentionally, for the
    violation of the prohibition of showing disrespect for talmidei chochomim does
    not require intention. Similarly, it is forbidden to express disrespect by
    implication, as by saying something that implies disrespect but does not
    express it directly.

  6. A talmid chochom who scorns the mitzvos and has no yiras
    Shamayim
    is considered to be among the least respected members of the
    community, though only a great Torah scholar and a true talmid chochom is
    capable of judging another talmid chochom’s attitude toward mitzvos
    or his yiras Shamayim. Certainly, the fact that a talmid chochom disagrees
    with a person’s ideas is not a basis for making such a judgment.

  7. A talmid chochom must be very careful to avoid
    anything which might cause people to speak disrespectfully of him. He should
    keep in mind that the unlearned have their eyes on the talmidei chochomim. The
    Chafetz Chaim once mentioned something to a talmid chochom about
    something he had done. When he responded, saying that he was not a talmid
    chochom
    , the Chafetz Chaim told him that he was enough of a talmid
    chochom
    to cause a chilul Hashem.

  8. Even though a talmid chochom is permitted to place a
    person who is disrespectful in nidui, it is not praiseworthy for
    a talmid chochom to do so. Rather, he should ignore the offensive
    remarks of ignorant people. This was the way of the chassidim rishonim:
    Not to respond to insults, and even to forgive them. Great talmidei
    chochomim
    were concerned to conduct themselves with gentleness and would
    make a point of saying that they had never put anyone who had offended them
    into nidui .

  9. A person should love talmidei chochomim and relate
    to them out of a sense of yiras Shamayim, as Chazal say, the verse that
    teaches us to have yiras Shamayim, es Hashem Elokecho tireh,
    includes talmidei chochomim. (Pesachim 22b)

  10. A person who shows disrespect for talmidei chochomim will
    not have children who are talmidei chochomim, and a person who shows
    love and respect and honors talmidei chochomim is assured that his sons
    will be talmidei chochomim.