Join Sivan's newsletter!

Get updates & news via Email

What is most important? To respect others

ידידיה וסיון רהב מאיר עם הרב חיים וולקין

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

"What is the most important educational message of today?" I once asked Rabbi Chaim Volkin, who passed away yesterday at the age of 77. His life's fascinating journey began in China. It was where his parents fled from the Holocaust and where he was born. He later continued on to the United States and eventually to Jerusalem. He answered my question as follows:

"What is most important? The principle upon which I was educated from the moment I could understand: respect every individual. There is no person who does not have a good quality. There is no one without something special that is deserving of admiration. Our sages taught us: "Who is honored? The one who honors others." A person worthy of respect or honor is one who knows how to honor other people, to find in everyone a quality worthy of praise, something unique to that person among all the people of his generation.

Rabbi Kook explains in his prayer book that the moment I was created, the moment I was born -- the world could not do without me. Your birthday is the day on which you are told: Get up on stage, we need you! All individuals are unique, they cannot be replaced, and each of them needs to be respected -- as a teacher, a husband, a wife, a child, a parent."

Tens of thousands of students, in Israel and throughout the world, lost a rabbi last night, who asked of them, above all, to respect others.


We use cookies to ensure the best experience for you. Please, accept the usage of cookies.