Friday, March 27, 2009

Avoid Humiliating Another

One of the signs of a truly great person is that he is exceedingly vigilant regarding the honor of his fellow man in all circumstances.
Once, the Beis Halevi, zt”l, was returning home from shul on Pesach night when he almost collided with a man stealthily slinking away from his own house with all the silverware and vessels stacked precariously in his hands.
When the caught man noticed the Beis Halevi, he turned white. But the Rav was determined to find a way to avoid embarrassing his fellow Jew—even if he was a thief. The rav beamed on the man and said, “Pesach kasher v’sameach! You are probably bringing me vessels to use as collateral to borrow money from me after Yom Tov. Why don’t you leave them here and return during chol hamoed for the loan…”
The thief, who had not disguised himself in any way, breathed a deep sigh of relief and immediately returned the stolen objects.
When one of the students of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, was slated to get married, it was automatically assumed that the Rav would attend as the mesader kiddushin.
The rav arrived early as was his wont. When Rav Shlomo Zalman noticed that a prominent Yemenite rabbi in attendance, who was part of a sect that did not accept the authenticity of the Zohar, he asked the family if this Rav would receive a kibud. “He is slated to be one of the witnesses,” he was told.
Since many authorities hold that the members of this sect are not fit to be witnesses, Rav Shlomo Zalman immediately approached this Yemenite rabbi and insisted that he officiate as the mesader kiddushin instead. Although the rav balked a little at accepting, Rav Shlomo Zalman was so insistent that this rav finally complied and Rav Shlomo Zalman was a witness in his stead.
In this manner, Rav Shlomo Zalman ensured that there was no question about the status of the kiddushin and that the Yemenite rav was not embarrassed in public.

1 comment:

shoshi said...

It is interesting that you write that "not humiliating another" should be an important mitzwa.

There is a blogger who calls himself "hamekubal" and who loves to humiliate other people, as it becomes clear from the posts on his blog as well as from the answers he gives to bloggers on other blogs...