Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Permitted Flattery

Although flattery is generally a very serious prohibition, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, one may flatter the wicked in this world. The Chidah adds that one may flatter his Rebbe, spouse, or parent. However, one may only flatter if his intention is l’shem shamayim.
At the end of his life, the Chazon Ish, zt”l, rarely attended simachos. And those he did attend were close to home. Unless there was a really exceptional reason, he didn’t go to affairs outside of Bnei Brak. And even in Bnei Brak, he rarely stayed for long.
Once he asked Rav Shlomo Lorenz, shlit”a, to accompany him to a bar mitzvah in Tel Aviv. This in and of itself was a big enough rarity. Another unusual thing about this bar mitzvah was that the Chazon Ish had very little to do with the parents of the bar mitzvah boy. It seemed as though the grandfather, a prominent Rav in the Rabanut HaRashit with broad influence, was presumably the motivating factor in the Chazon Ish’s decision to veer from his regular practice and attend a simchah in Tel Aviv. An even greater anomaly was that the Chazon Ish spent an inordinately long time at the affair compared with other events, even when they took place in Bnei Brak.
Rav Lorenz couldn’t help but ask why the Chazon Ish chose to stay specifically at that particular simcha for so much longer than his wont.
The Chazon Ish replied, “You know that right now there is a big altercation regarding drafting religious young women into the army and this issue is about to be resolved. The bar mitzvah boy’s grandfather’s opinion carries great weight with the other leading Rabanim of the Rabanut. I wished to give him a ‘bribe’ of kavod, to be sure that he will vote against this measure…”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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my name is Tom and im completely new to this forum.

I hope that I'll learn and share a lot of interesting things.