Tuesday, August 2, 2011

“According to His Path”

The Alter of Kelm, zt”l, gave a very decisive lesson about how we should comport ourselves at all times. “'חנוך לנער על פי דרכו...'. From this verse we see that each youth must be educated in the right path for him. We can understand from this that every person must vigilantly educate himself to act as is fitting in each situation.
“For example, we certainly must speak with restraint and are better off not speaking in front of one who is older and has more experience as we find in Avos. But that does not apply to those who scoff the Torah and its values. Regarding such people we must certainly speak if we can do so with understanding, enabling others to see how false their opinions are.
“As we find in Meseches Derech Eretz, one must not be sad where people are joyous or overtly happy when people are sad. We must learn to speak with talmidei chachomim as is fitting and with the ignorant in a different manner. To those who are truly wise and will appreciate it, we should give moral direction to help them improve. We must refrain from giving the ignorant rebuke since this will not help. On the contrary, they will resent such intrusion and react angrily.
“The same is true in every regard. Sometimes one action is appropriate and other times we must act in the exact opposite manner. We must learn how to deal with the challenges of every encounter. Sometimes the best path is to pretend to fall asleep. Sometimes, we must act with decisiveness. In other situations it is better to be deliberate. The main thing is to learn how to act in each situation and educate ourselves slowly but surely to improve.”

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