Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

RabbiHorowitz.com
Please Use Our New Website
still under constructions
to purchase safety books and educational materials
https://thebrightbeginnings.com

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
iPod
touch
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.


I Just Became a Grandchild!
A Test of Friendship that I Failed
by Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg
Publication: www.jewishworldreview.com

  Rated by 8 users   |   Viewed 16405 times since 11/27/08   |   21 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend
   

11/27/08

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a friend of mine who adopted a religious lifestyle later in life. In a most excited voice, he was calling to inform me of some great news.

"Guess what? I get a mazel tov! I became an einikel! Our daughter just gave birth to a baby boy!"

I was totally overjoyed for him, and I am not sure if I would have said what I should have, had I not been so happy for him. On the tip of my tongue was a comment such as, "Guess what? You just became a proud zaide (grandfather), but you became an einikel (grandchild) when you were born almost fifty years ago." My reason for not correcting him at that point was to avoid putting a damper on his great moment of becoming a zaide.

His happy proclamation stuck in my mind and I was tempted to call him up and correct him. I didn't want him to continue making the same foolish mistake. However, I hesitated for some reason and I convinced myself that surely someone else had corrected him by now.

Several weeks went by and I decided to phone him and see how things were going. I was hoping to hear some statement that would indicate that he now knows that he became a zaide.

Even with the passing of several weeks, he was still excited. He began sharing how pleased he is with the direction of life he took fourteen years earlier. He was still making that same foolish mistake.

Many thoughts went through my mind at that moment. I was curious to know how many people he had informed that he became an einikel and why no one had the decency and to correct him. It then hit me that I was one of those people lacking the decency.

I decided that I wasn't going to get off the phone before I pointed out his mistake once and for all. I must have told him, "I want to point out something for your attention," a dozen times. Then, as he waited to hear what I had to tell him, I shared a different thought about "grandfatherhood" each time.

Sticking to my personal pledge not to hang up without pointing out his mistake, I finally gathered all the courage I had and, with the help of the Divine, the words came out. "I want to point out something for your attention," I said. "In Yiddish, the word einikel means grandchild. You became an einikel to your grandparents when you were born, and your grandson became one to you when he was born."

Because of the type of person this zaide is, for the next five minutes he couldn't stop laughing. Instead of getting insulted or being embarrassed, he laughed and laughed. When he was fully composed, he told me how he must have made that mistake hundreds of time. He felt foolish as he realized that he must have also made that same mistake when he spoke to his son's in-laws, who were raised culturally and religiously observant.

I knew that I wasn't being a good friend when I didn't initially point out his mistake. I asked him what I could do to earn his forgiveness for the embarrassment I caused him. At first, he didn't allow me to take responsibility for his mistake, but after much insistence, he agreed to forgive me if I would pass around the message of the importance of correcting people and correcting them as soon as possible.

Here I am fulfilling my pledge to convey this message. I wish it were as easy as that. The reality is that many people hesitate to correct people and some people have difficulty responding graciously when others correct them. We will discuss a number of pointers in dealing with this issue. The first thing to realize is that in the majority of situations, you will be doing a great act of kindness to the person you correct.

The reality is that all people need to be corrected at one time or another, and most people don't enjoy correcting others. I would be very concerned about a person who enjoys always finding opportunities to correct other people. This article is not addressing that minority.

I suspect that part of the problem in the way people accept corrections and the comfort (or lack thereof) with making corrections relates to how it is done. It may be worthwhile to mention — though it is obvious to some — that corrections are to be made in private and directly to the person making the mistake.

Two additional points to consider when correcting someone is the need to share the mistake as soon as possible and to share it without any lengthy introductions and/or pologies. In all likelihood, you are doing the person a great favor and there should be no reason for an apology.

Thus far, we have addressed correcting a mistake and have not specified who made the mistake or who is making the correction. My intention has been to address the issue of adults correcting adults. Correcting children who make mistakes and having children correct others — adults or children — are entirely different stories.

We know that the Halacha (Jewish Law) spells out very clearly how a child should correct a parent or a rebbi (spiritual mentor). In general, any time a child is going to correct someone, it should be done with the highest level of respect. I would also not want my child going around and correcting people. This, I fear, can result in the child being too critical and looking for mistakes being made by others.

Finally, when it comes to adults correcting children, we must be very careful and sensitive about how it is done. Parents and educators obviously know their children and students well enough to know how to correct them properly. Other adults, when aware of a mistake being made by a child, should, with sensitivity, bring it to the attention of the parent and not correct the child directly. I vividly recall my father's direction in this area. Once, when pointing out a mistake to a nephew of mine, my father z"l corrected me and said, "Let his parents raise him. No one appointed you in their place."

I will also share something that I have felt and heard from a variety of children. When pointing out a mistake, do it as directly as possible. For example, it is very common for a child to raise a hand in class and ask for permission to go and get a drink. The words a child will usually use for such a request are, "Can I go and get a drink?" The teacher, wanting to teach the child to use the word may instead of can, might comically respond, "I don't know. Can you?" Such a sarcastic form of correcting is not advisable.

Another example I recently heard was when a student spoke to a principal about a certain teacher and used the word "he" when referencing the teacher. To correct the student so that he would refer to the teacher by the teacher's name (Rabbi So and So), the principal said, "He is a pronoun." The principal was then shocked when the student replied, "I know. We just learned that last week in language arts class."

You may suspect that the child knew what the principal was getting at, but being straightforward with the correction would have avoided the possible chutzpah.



To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.


Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 8 users    (21 comments)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at admin@RabbiHorowitz.com and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.



Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593
email: email@kosherjewishparenting.com


Advertisements