"Rise in the presence of an old person and honor the presence of a sage; fear your G-d, I am Hashem," (Vayikra 19:32). The Chasam Sofer zt"l explains in his commentary on the Torah that we must respect an old person, even if he is not a sage. One who has lived a long life automatically acquires much knowledge from his life's experiences. Honor is also due to a talmid chochom, even if he is young, due to the Torah knowledge that he has acquired. Earlier in this week's parsha, we are commanded to respect our parents. "Every man should revere his mother and his father, and guard the Shabbos; I am Hashem." (Vayikra 19:2). Standing up is one of the ways to honor and show respect for a person. The Shulchan Aruch in Yorah Deah 240 and 242 lists other ways to honor parents, the learned, and the elderly. Do not stand or sit in their place, do not openly contradict their words, and do not call them by name.
Children . . .
Do you know more now than you knew five years ago? I am sure you do. Five years from now will you know more than you know today? Surely. What about ten, twenty, or even fifty years from now? Just imagine how much you will know. That is how much an elderly person knows. He is certainly worthy of our respect. What about our parents? Who does more for us than Imma and Abba? Do you know children; there are people who stand up when their father or mother walks into the room. There are those who rise when an old person walks into shul. There are little boys who give up their seat on the bus for an older person. Let us all strive to join those people in giving the proper respect to those who merit it.
Clean Up Your Judgment
"That will be thirty shekels, young man."
Children . . .
By judging others favorably you get a mitzvah. As it is written (Vayikra 19:15) "Judge your fellow Jew righteously." Things are not always as they seem. Take the time to examine your judgement before you jump to conclusions. Perhaps there is a good explanation for this seemingly bad situation. Our friend thought there was some dirty business going on at the dry cleaners. Things turned out to be clean as a whistle.
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