"Create a teacher - said the great teacher Yehoshua bin dust - acquired by another and be supportive in their judgments about people" (Pirkei Avot, Chapter 1, Article 6..). And it is - extremely important ethical rule for us. About what are you talking about? ..

WHY - friends and rabbis?

Jacob Astor

One rabbi gave four of his blind students a task: to go into the jungle and find out what an elephant. A few weeks later, the students returned to him with an answer. The first disciple said:

- Teacher, the elephant - a thick, circular object, like a tree trunk.

- What is it? - shrugged the second student. - The elephant - a long, thin and rather hard hose that sprays water.

- Teacher, in fact the elephant - a flat, thin as a sheet of paper membrane that sways down, then up, like a cloth fabric - offered his description of the third student.

When it was the turn of the last, the fourth student, he described the animal as follows:

- The elephant - a very thin, symmetrical object, and on the tip of his hair grow rare.

Each of you in his own right, - summed up the teacher. - But you're wrong, because it describes some parts of an elephant. The overall picture one of you did not give ...

In a sense, we would like to remind these students. Each of us in some way blind. Our judgments, like judgments of the characters stories told here - are subjective, and even more - self-centered. We are often motivated by "ego," and we do not see others or ignore them.

Mishnah considers man as a completed creation. Every individual - note our Master, - "Island in the ocean." You probably question arises: is it possible to overcome this subjectivity, and if - yes, how?

Create yourself a rabbi - answers this question Rabbi Yehoshua ben dust - acquired by another and remember that appearances can be deceptive. It is not always the first impression reflects reality.

Try to understand what is the essence of the great teachers councils.

Create yourself a rabbi

Our world - said Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (one of the largest Masters of Hasidism, the second half of the 18th - beginning of 19th years .; Ukraine, is buried in the city of Uman - see the answer on the site "About Bratslav Hasidism.") - is similar to "a very narrow bridge."

Indeed. On the path of life of each of us - a lot of dangerous intersections. We often find ourselves at a crossroads, and each time have to make important, responsible decisions. Wrong choice sometimes leads to severe, if not fatal.

Why did Rabbi Nachman emphasizes - "a very narrow bridge"? Because we - the death and subjective. We are blind to many things. But worst of all, sometimes we do not realize. And then it turns out that we - blind double. Do we have any hope of successfully navigate this narrow bridge?

Hope, of course, there is. But for this we must first understand their inevitable inherent subjectivity. In the next step we need to find someone who, unlike us - not blind, and able to help us through this bridge to cross. That this is the meaning of the sentence: "Make yourself a rabbi."

Rabbi - the same man, like any of us. But - trying to see the world through the prism of Torah. Therefore, his vision can be sharper and deeper. The essence of the Jewish world - a living tradition that is passed from teacher - a student from his father - his son. The teacher of the Torah - it is not a professor, which closed in the "ivory tower". This is - an educated man who seeks to understand the will of the Most High, and the main thing - to make efforts to ensure that realize their knowledge into practice in a particular situation.

Rabbi does not necessarily know everything. This is why Rabbi Yehoshua ben ashes advises - "create" his rabbi. And do not say - "select".

Find "their" rabbi - is never easy. Search may require more effort. The rabbi how each person can be drawbacks. But we should not try to discover them and to focus attention on them. If you managed to find a Torah scholar who agrees to delve into your problems - "make" him as their rabbi. Because you need a "guide" who can show you the vision and perspective of the development of events from a different perspective. Rabbi function is to consider alternative points of view and offer a solution. He has, in comparison with you, there is a distinct advantage: Unlike you, he sees problems with your hand, and so often - objective where you are - subjective. Certain knowledge of Torah law is coupled with a life experience. And because he can help you overcome the "very narrow" vital "bridge".

Our vital task - to find objective truth and stick to it. The first step in this search - recognizing their own biases. The next step - to find himself a rabbi and teacher - but not "a soothsayer with a crystal ball," anticipate your fate in advance.

Buy yourself a friend

The rabbi, a real teacher will probably be too busy and not always able to take the time to understand each small everyday problems that arise in your way. Therefore, we need friends. They, as a rabbi, we need to deal with the subjective view of the world. With friends, we tend to be fairly common. And they are willing to respond to a request for advice, even on the most insignificant occasion.

We should not simply - "to have a friend," - emphasizes Rabbi Yehoshua ben ashes - but - "buy" it. This wording implies that true friendship never occurs by itself. In order to establish friendly relations with like minded person has to make a lot of effort. And then, these relations have continued - with no effort can not do. The very word "buy" inherent value - "pay a price", that is - to sacrifice something. And really - true friendship is worth sacrifice.

There are in fact teachings of Rabbi Yehoshua and another shade of meaning - "investment in the other." The friendship we put a part of yourself. Maintaining reliable friendships, we do "good investment." Usually the difference between friendly relations, which are cut off pretty quickly, and long-term bond that lasts a lifetime, is just how much effort you put into maintaining the friendship. Real friends, life can be scattered on different ends of the world. But they will always feel a deep connection with each other. They have invested so much into each other, so thoroughly studied each other, that one sees the other as if reflected.

There are times when only one is able to keep us from a false step when we staggered and stumbled, go through our "very narrow bridge." Therefore, it is important to buy another. Do not forget to buy a gift that would please him, call him, even if you have no time, share with them the secrets of ... Depends on your life.

Favorable attitude towards people

The Mishnah teaches us to "favor in the judgment of the people." This guidance contains a number of "directions". One of them, for example, lies in the fact that, apart from the rabbi and friend to all of us on the path of life is necessary to the environment. Therefore, it is important to treat everyone well, no one is trying to judge and not to condemn.

Sometimes, someone from your environment performs as you feel bad act. Continue to feel good about this man - says Maѓaral (Rabbi Yehuda Liva, one of the greatest commentators of the Torah and the Talmud, the author of many fundamental philosophical books main Prague rabbi - Czech Republic; 16th century) in his book Derech and Khaimah - Try justify it instead of throwing hasty accusations. Do not assume right - bad. Perhaps you just do not see the full picture.

Another view of understanding "in favor of judgment" invites us to evaluate the whole person. We each have advantages and disadvantages. Wisdom is to see in person a combination of good and evil, success and failure. And do not forget that every worthy individual, as we all, at war with his shortcomings.

Mandate to judge everyone, without exception, favorably - said Rabbi Yehoshua of the Islands, - implies God. If a good, innocent man misfortune happens, we should not regard it as a "blatant injustice". This is - no reason to doubt that God is kind and merciful.

It is said that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi (the great teacher of the Talmud of the first generation, the Land of Israel, the middle of the 3rd century) was so spiritually enlightened man that he was repeatedly honored with his presence the prophet Eliyahu. During one of these meetings, Rabbi, Rabbi Yehoshua asked permission of the Prophet to accompany him on journeys to see for himself how the Creator dispenses justice.

- Do not even think about it - he said it Eliyahu - You can not understand it either, nor endure.

- Do you think that I doubt the validity of the Creator, or think that I am not able to recognize his works? - asked Rabbi Yehoshua ....

For a long time he tried to persuade the Prophet. In the end, he agreed, but it - made him promise not to ask about what he sees, no questions asked. As soon as he asked for an explanation, accompanied by the Prophet he could no longer.

And Rabbi Yehoshua agreed to it.

The next day they went on a journey and the evening turned out to be in a small hut. Towards them came from poor peasant hut - to invite travelers into his home. He sat them down and brought water that they might wash. The house had been empty, though ball Roll, but the farmer's wife insisted that they were supported by the fact that there is. And put milk and bread in front of them.

When it was time to go to bed, the farmer gave the guests their bedding, and he and his wife settled on the bare, cold dirt floor.

Rabbi Yehoshua with all my heart rejoiced in kindness and hospitality of this pair. And he was sure that Eliyahu will thank them so they do not have to endure more hardship.

The next morning Eliyahu got up, whispered some words over the meager possessions of the pair. Then he went to their thin, emaciated cow. Whispered something - a cow fell to the ground and died.

Surprised, Rabbi Yehoshua opened his mouth, but he caught a warning glare and Eliyahu the Prophet, he said nothing. They continued on their way, leaving the poor farmers to mourn his loss.

In the evening they came to a large, elegant mansion and were asked for the night.

- Why should I let you into my house, beggars ?! - I threw them in the face the owner of the mansion. - If you want, you can spend the night in the stable.

Hungry, they are located close to the animals without even washing the dusty feet. At the heart of Rabbi Yehoshua seething anger. He hoped that Eliyahu will find a way to teach this cruel and callous man.

Waking at dawn, Eliyahu approached the dilapidated, dangerous banked wall barnyard and straightened it. Watching him, Rabbi Yehoshua wondered: how can this be - Eliyahu hurts those who do good, and encourages people to evil and vicious. Is this - Justice of the Supreme?

And once again, time remembering persuasion, suppressed ready to break out the bitter questions. They left this luxurious mansion and spent another day in the journey.

At the end of the day they entered the noisy, full of hustle and bustle city and went to the synagogue. Dressed in fine clothes, the residents of the city had in her own place - according to social status. When the prayer was over, people began to ask each other who invited me to the night two tramps. Volunteers were not found. Let spend the night in the synagogue - unanimously decided the community.

Rabbi Yehoshua and the prophet, hungry and unwashed, spent the night in the synagogue. In the morning, when people returned to shacharit (morning prayer), Eliyahu politely said goodbye to them and hoped that they took in high positions.

To endure all this and keep silent Rabbi Yehoshua was no longer in force.

- Do you call divine justice ?! - he exclaimed. - You recompensest for evil - the good, and for good - suffering!

- Have not I told you that you can not bear the fact that I'm doing? - I replied the prophet Eliyahu. Our joint journey, as you know - are over. And finally, I'll explain everything. By the will of Heaven that the wife of a peasant at night had to die. In gratitude for the sincere kindness of this couple, I prayed to God that He took his wife instead of farmer - their cow ... Under the stones of the wall, which I corrected and strengthened, hidden treasure. If the man was repairing it himself, he would have found it and it only would have strengthened his perversity ... As for the arrogant people in the synagogue, I wanted them to occupy high positions, because he knew that because of this, inevitably begin in quarrel and squabbles. Thus, their own pride will cause them to fall.

And he finished his speech the prophet Elijah with the words:

- Who are you to argue that you can understand the intentions of the Creator? He has no borders, and its route - inscrutable. Be content with the knowledge that you need to in order to live righteously. Be obedient to the Will of the Almighty and Justice, which is far above your understanding.

Perhaps we would like to hear more. But ... We must realize that our perception of reality - is subjective. And in this context it does not matter how much we are perceptive and intelligent. We - honed in the world of his "ego", the time on the tiny island called life. Well, if we are able to look at their suffering and problems - as if from outside. However, such a detached view of the world comes at us in many, many years. If at all - appears. In any case, we must remember that God, unlike us, see the complete picture (which includes The world to come) ...

Material Site international Jewish religious organization Aish HaTorah


Jacob Astor,

Writer, Editor