Friday, July 12, 2013

Devarim: Words of Rebuke

This week's Parasha starts out:
These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on that side of the Jordan in the desert, in the plain opposite the Red Sea, between Paran and Tofel and Lavan and Hazeroth and Di Zahav.
Rashi explains:
Since these are words of rebuke and he [Moses] enumerates here all the places where they angered the Omnipresent, therefore it makes no explicit mention of the incidents [in which they transgressed], but rather merely alludes to them, [by mentioning the names of the places] out of respect for Israel (cf. Sifrei).
Rebuke is not an easy matter. Not everybody knows how to rebuke his fellowman in a way that what he says will make a positive impression. Rabbi Akiva said, "I am in doubt if there is anyone in this generation who knows how to give reproof." (Arachin 16B). Rebuking someone by hanging a sign from your balcony seems to me to be a good method. The person is not being attacked personally and he may take the words to heart. Here are some words of rebuke that I have seen recently (click on the pics to enlarge):

The sign on the left says, "No entrance to owners of iPhones (or similar devices) or unfiltered internet." The second sign says," O merciful nation of Israel! Pray that my father will get rid of the iPhone and the internet and not break up our family." I agree with the signs that iPhones, internet etc. can be dangerous. If you don't believe me, ask Anthony Weiner.

More of the same:

This sign warns in the name of Rabbi Kanievsky that those who have iPhones bring trouble into their homes:

This really does not fit in but I'm including it anyway. The red sign in the middle says, "To the Nations of the world: (from their ambassadors in the land who are closely following the struggle against Judaism in Israel) Jewish Education under Foreign Rule is preferable to Foreign Education under Jewish Rule".

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. I just noticed that one of the signs announces that Zahava Golda Levin, the wife of Rabbi Simchah Shlomo Levin shlita, has passed away. (Rabbi Simchah Shlomo Levin is the son of the famed Tzaddik of Jerusalem Rabbi Aryeh Levin zt"l).

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