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TOPIC TITLE: Another good vort by Rabbi Mordechai Rhine
Created On 1/16/12 12:23 PM
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Aba
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1/16/12 12:23 PM
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I'm sure this one will resonate with many of us.
(I couldn't find a link for this one so I copied and pasted it)
Parshas Shmos
I Don't Believe You!
By Rabbi Mordechai Rhine

The scene of Moshe’s dialogue with Hashem was one of great drama. The Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt and were in great crisis. Hashem instructed Moshe to go to Pharoh and redeem them.

After Moshe repeatedly stated that he was the wrong person for this mission, Hashem insisted that Moshe accept the charge. It was then that Moshe asked a most painful question. He said, “But they will not listen to me…” meaning, if the Jewish people will not believe in the redemption, how could I possibly succeed?!

Hashem was disappointed with Moshe and gave him signs that indicated that his words were Lashon Horah; he had maligned innocent people. Moshe was given a sign of a snake and a sign of Tzoraas, both symbolic of improper speech. In effect, Hashem was telling Moshe, “How dare you speak badly about My people and infer that they will not believe.”

What is amazing is that initially, when Moshe comes and tells the people about the plan for redemption, the people do believe him, but once Pharoh hears Moshe’s demand and makes things harder than they were before, the people turn to Moshe with complaints. They do not believe in his mission… just as Moshe had anticipated. They say to Moshe, “May Hashem take note of what you did to us, and judge… You have placed an excuse in the hands of Pharoh to oppress us.”

If when things got bad, the people did in fact lack faith, why was Moshe censured for anticipating their lack of faith?

A few weeks ago I was called by a man that I know with an emergency question. He related how his elderly father was being rushed to the hospital with a critical injury. Due to severe complications the father was in enormous pain. As the paramedics rushed the father in, the son heard his father say numerous times, “Kill me… Just kill me… I am in such pain.” So the son wants to know what to do. Should he instruct the medical staff to withhold treatment, so that his father can hopefully get his wish?

I told him that they need to make every effort to stabilize his father before the situation can be properly assessed. “Give it 24 hours,” I told him, “And then we can talk again.”

It was just about 24 hours later when I received a call. But it wasn’t from the son. It was from the father. He said, “Rabbi, you never met me, but you know my son. Thank you for saving my life.” He continued, “They tell me that as they carried me in I was screaming, ‘Kill me…’ I have no such recollection. I must have been in enormous pain. They stabilized me; they switched my medications. I am doing much better now. Thank you for not believing what I said when I was in such pain.”

It seems that it is fairly normal for people to say things when they are in pain that aren’t true expressions of what they really want and believe. It is both frightening and comforting. People may say crazy things when they are stressed. This doesn’t mean that they don’t believe, or aren’t good, nice, and hopeful. They are good and nice; they do believe. But they are stressed.

Moshe is right about the Jewish people. When the oppression gets worse after Moshe comes, they will in fact say that they don’t believe in his mission. That is true. But his words are still Lashon Horah. Because those cries are not cries of anger and accusation. They are cries of pain, frustration, and pleading. Hashem tells Moshe, “The real Jewish people is what you see when they believe in salvation. Everything else is just a result of the enormous pain they are in. To speak badly about them is Lashon Horah”

Sometimes, in our daily interactions someone may say something that is painful or insulting to us. It is wise to consider whether the comment was said out of frustration or stress, or if it is truly a comment of anger. If the comment is one of anger it must be dealt with accordingly. If a person feels in danger because of it they must call for help.

But not all nasty comments need be taken literally. Not just any improper comment need shatter a relationship forever. The fact is that when someone is confused or in enormous pain, they may say things that really aren’t “them”. In such cases it is best not to believe them.

Instead, as Moshe was instructed, continue to believe in them. And then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

With best wishes for a wonderful Shabbos.

Rabbi Mordechai Rhine, originally of Monsey, New York, is the Rav of Young Israel of Cherry Hill and the Director of TEACH613™, an organization which promotes Jewish Law and Ethics in the Cherry Hill/ Philadelphia area.

Rabbi Rhine holds semicha from Rabbi Berel Wein, and a specialty addendum in marriage law from Rabbi S. M. Katz of Lakewood. He has also received a Masters in Rabbinic and Talmudic Studies, and has been teaching Torah for over 20 years.

Rabbi Rhine is the author of a popular book, "The Magic of Shabbos: A Journey Through the Shabbos Experience," (Judaica Press, 1998) and the producer and presenter of an audio series entitled The Perek Shira Collection, available in stores or at www.teach613.org.

You can contact Rabbi Rhine at RMRhine@teach613.org or 908-770-9072.

© 2012, Rabbi Mordechai Rhine and TEACH613


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"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden
 
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wishtobehappy
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1/16/12 8:49 PM
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awesome! thanks.
 
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LuYitzlach
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1/18/12 9:00 PM
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nice! i hope hashem also knows that i don't mean everything i say about him when i'm in distress...
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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2/23/12 12:23 PM
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thanks
a lynn
 
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