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Achrei Mos-Kedoshim

Friday, 19 April, 2013 - 12:12 am


You shall not go about as a talebearer (19:16)

A man once came to see Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch and proceeded to portray himself as a villain of the worst sort. After describing at length his moral and spiritual deficiencies, he begged the Rebbe to help him overcome his evil character.

"Surely,'' said the Rebbe, "you know how grave is the sin of lashon harah, speaking ill of a human being. Nowhere, to my knowledge, does it say that it is permissible to speak lashon harah about oneself."

At times, children develop a habit of speaking negatively about themselves, particularly about their skills. It is natural for a child to compare him/herself with peers and this can lead to feelings of failure. As parents, it is our job to encourage a healthy balance between striving for excellence and self-critique. In the above story, the Previous Rebbe explains that lashan hara applies to one’s self as well! 

This Shabbos, redirect negative self-expression to reflect the desire to grow. Instead of saying, “I’m so bad at the monkey bars! I’m never going to be so fast like my sister…” Encourage your child to use words like, “I could be so much better at the monkey bars. Can you help me try?” When describing one’s own skills as a parent, we must also take caution in the words we use… expressions like, “I’m so bad at handling the fighting…” or “I can never get them to eat vegetables!” is lashan hara and stunts our growth.

May we merit to channel all of our words for positive action, bringing Moshiach Now!


"If he is poor... He should take one male lamb, as a guilt-offering... On the Eighth day of his ritual purification..." (Vayikra 14:21-23)

The fact that a Jew can achieve atonement on behalf of another teaches us that the Jewish people are truly one "body" who need to feel each other's pain and ease each other's suffering. A person should feel that another Jew's problem is his own problem.
- The Rebbe

The spiritual disease of Tzara'as described in this week's Parsha and its method of atonement teach us the above powerful lesson. It's not enough to want to help another Jew in need, we must feel that their problem is truly our problem.

This Shabbos, encourage your children to uncover this feeling for one another. "Oh, the baby has a tummy ache! Ouch... That makes my tummy hurt... What can we do to make him feel more comfortable? What would you need if your tummy hurts?"

May this Ahavas Yisroel uncover Hashem's ultimate mercy and bring Moshiach! 

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