Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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I'm in My Home... Don't Judge!

by Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier of The Beis Medrash

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The Frierdiker Rebbe (the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe) whose birthday and days of liberation we celebrated last week, gives a profound and relevant depth to Bilam's words in last week’s parsha…

It's easy to find fault with our fellow Jew, but when it comes to ourselves, we're quick to overlook our shortcoming and focus on our strong points. In truth, it should be the other way around. We know ourselves well, and we should be critical of our shortcomings. When it comes to judging a fellow Jew, we never know the full picture and should try to see only the good.

How can we change our mindset and begin to think this way?

Most of us behave differently at shul (synagogue) and at home. At shul, it's easier to respect the davening (praying), be inspired by the kedusha (holiness) or join a shiur (Torah lesson). At home, however, it's much more difficult to focus on davening and find time for learning.

Bilam's message, "Let the doors of your homes face away from each other," is a timeless reminder: Don't judge your friend in his home-don't even peek through the window in case you see something unimpressive. Instead, notice him in shul. See that he davens with a minyan three times a day and admire his dedication to the daily shiur. This is who he really is. 

By seeing our fellow Jews in this light, we'll be able to help them reach the ultimate goal of being that dedicated at home too.

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