Not to shout, to whisper

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Tonight, the third of Tammuz, marks the 26th anniversary of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. In an era when it seems that everybody shouts, here’s a little but important story about a different approach:

Rabbi Moshe Feller, the chief Chabad emissary in Minnesota, was asked to write an article for a local newspaper on Judaism. He tried to explain what the Torah does to a person and wrote that when a person faints and loses consciousness, you need to get close to his ear and shout his name in order that he should wake up. In the same way, when a person is far from Judaism, from his identity and from himself – you need to shout his name, shout that he is a Jew, and he will be reminded of who he is and wake up. Rabbi Feller sent the article to the Lubavitcher Rebbe who corrected just one word but with great significance. He crossed out “shout” and wrote above it “whisper.” Not to shout into the other’s ear, but to whisper into it.

How do you influence someone? How do you approach someone who is far away? Don’t shout at him that he’s not okay, don’t roar at him with your beliefs, rather whisper. You are about to enter a delicate place — his soul. Don’t approach him with brutality, approach him with love, with caring, with quietness.

26 years. We are in need of this approach now more than ever.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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