Rebuke With Love

Dear Friends,


Rav Shneur Kotler was the son of Rav Aharon Kotler, and he shared the following comments about his father, the founder and first Rosh Yeshiva (Head) of the famous Lakewood Yeshiva:


"My father - may the memory of the righteous be a blessing - had to constantly arouse people; reprove people; make demands. Yet he never gave reproof or made demands without first expressing that person's virtue with love...Without making sure that the person knows his worth in his (the Rosh Yeshiva's) eyes so that his spirit doesn't fall; so that he doesn't lose his interest, vitality and creativity..."


A reference to the above idea in found in the following advice of King Solomon:


"Do not admonish the scoffer, lest he hate you; admonish the wise person, and he will love you." (Proverbs 9:8)


According to Rabbi Moshe Alshich, a noted biblical commentator, the above verse has the following deeper meaning:
There is a scoffer and a wise person within each of us. If you address the scoffer within the other person, he will resent your criticism and hate you; however, if you address the wise soul within him - his true essence - then he will love you for reminding him of his true and good nature.
This is universal advice which all people can follow by remembering that the friend one is rebuking is created in the Divine image (Genesis 5:1).
Be Well, and Shalom,
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen  (See below)
The above insights are cited in “The Legacy of Maran Rav Aharon Kotler” by Rabbi Yitzchok Dershowitz. This amazing and inspiring book is about the life and teachings of one of the great spiritual leaders of our people during the 20th century. The teachings and stories in this book can help us to become the spiritual children of this great sage. This book also helps us to appreciate the power of Torah study and how each of us can tap into this source of power.  It is published by Feldheim:  

Hazon - Our Universal Vision