Go Today – Make Restitution For Your Unjust Judgement!

20/01/2010

The First Book of Samuel begins with The Story of Hannah,
A married Woman who is deeply distressed over her inability to conceive.
She enters the Israelite Temple at Shiloh,
Where she weeps & quietly beseeches G*d to give her a child.

Eli, the High Priest, seeing Hannah’s lips moving, but hearing no sound,
Assumes she is drunk.
He walks over and reproves her,
“How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Sober Up!” (1:14).

Hannah is wounded by Eli’s harsh words:
“Oh NO, my lord, I am a very unhappy woman!”
She explains to him that she has been pouring out her heart to G*d
Because of her anguish & distress.

How embarrassed Eli must have been
When he realized how Unfairly
He had spoken to Hannah.
Instead of obeying the Torah injunction
“In Justice shall you Judge your fellow.” (Lev. 19:15)
He had leaped to an Unjust Conclusion.

As soon as Eli realizes his error,
He Blesses Hannah
That she go in Peace
And that G*d grant her
All that she had requested.
A year later
The future prophet Samuel
Whom the Bible compares to Moses & Aaron
Is born to her. (Psalms 99:6)

Many of us like Eli;
When we see someone do something
We do not understand
We Condemn the person
Without knowing
ALL the Facts.
One Sin to which Jews
Confess on Yom Kippur is
“For the Sin we have committed before You
By Hasty Judgement of Others.”
The Cruel Conclusions
To which such hasty Judgements can lead
Have been highlighted in
“On The Street” a poem by Roger Bush:

She was pretty
And she smiled at the men approaching.
I could see her in profile.
A sweet thing and cheeky, too.
Embarrassed males turn away.
Quickened their pace; look guilty, some blushed.
But undaunted, she met with an expectant smile the next,
Only again to be refused.
SOLICITING, I thought; a Prostitute; in broad daylight;
Until she turned,
And I saw she was
SELLING buttons for Charity.

He staggered down the steps and fell, L*rd,
A crumpled mass on the footpath.
His bottle broke and liquid spilled across the walk.
He’s DRUNK, I thought.
Disgust. Disdain.
Until…
Two girls rushed from a nearby car and cried,
“It’s Daddy. PLEASE HELP! He’s Ill.”

He caught my gaze.
This greedy young man
He too had seent he open handbag on the aged arm
With the few dollars exposed to view
He STALKED the Prey
And the Old Woman just window-shopped.
He’ll Grab & Run, I thought.
But no.
Quietly, he tapped her shoulder
Pointed to the bag
Exchanged Smiles.
They went their way.
O L*rd, Forgive Me, FORGIVE ME!
WHY – Do I always think
The Worst of Your Children?!

If You Have Judged Another
UNFAIRLY
Particulary If
You have Shared
Your low estimation with Others
You Are OBLIGATED
To GO to ALL The People
To Whom you have
Spoken Ill of The Person
And Confess to them
How WRONG You Were.

Second, like Eli,
You Should Do a Favor
Or some Act Of Kindness
For The Person
Whom You Misjudged.

Finally
Start trying to Judge People
Less Critically
And More Compasionately.
(Telushkin, The Book Of Jewish Values, Day 220)

SELAH… To You & Me….

Judgement Falling....

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Go…Gather Your Feathers….

15/01/2010

Children Chant
“Stick N’ Stones Break My Bones
But Words Can Never Hurt Me.”

Adults SHOULD Know Better.
Yet –
They Tend To Repeat
The History Of Hurting.

Throughout History
Names & Words
Have Been Used
To Incite People
To Pick Up Sticks & Stones
Knives, Guns & Bombs
To Hurt “Others”.

Words Can Also
Hurt Individuals
In Another Way That
That Can
NEVER Be Undone.

The Following Is Just Such
An Example….

A Man Went About Town
Slandering The Rabbi…
One Day
Realizing That Many
Of The Things He Had Said
Were Unfair –
Were Untrue
He Went To
The Rabbi’s House
To Beg For Forgiveness.

The Rabbi
Told The Man That
He Would Forgive Him
On One Condition:
That He Go Home
Take A Feather Pillow
From His House,
Cut It Up And
Scatter the Feathers
To The Wind.
And That
After He Had Done So
He Should Then Return
To The Rabbi’s House.

Puzzled By
The Rabbi’s Strange Request
The Man Was Happy
To Be Let Off
With So Easy
A Penance.

He Went Away
Quickly Cut Up The Pillow
Scattered The Feathers
And Returned
To The Rabbi.

“Am I Now Forgiven?”
He Asked the Rabbi.

“Just One More Thing”
The Rabbi Replied.
“Go Now & Gather Up
ALL The Feathers.”

“But –
That’s IMPOSSIBLE!”
“The Wind Has
Already Scattered Them.”
The Man Responded.

“PRECISELY.”
The Rabbi Answered.
“Though You Truly Wish
To Correct the Evil
You Have Done –
It Is As Impossible
To Repair The Damage
Done By Your Words
As It Is
To Recover The Feathers.”

Do Not Sow Your Words To The Wind…
Go Now – Gather Up All The Feathers You Have Sown.

(Teluskin)

Go...Gather Your Feathers....