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A Lesson From A Jewish War

01/02/2020 03:46:12 PM


Rabbi Elie Karfunkel


Jewish Law demands that when you are out to battle, and overtures of peace have not been accepted, you still have some mandated re- strictions. One of these laws is the inability to attack from all 4 sides - i.e. to box them in. One of the reasons given for this is that if you leave an escape route people don't fight as hard. When there is no going back you fight till the end, but somehow, if you know you can run away you don't muster up the same conviction.

I think that this is a big lesson in parenting as well. Many times we catch our children with the proverbial hand in the cookie jar. The easy route is to become the judge, jury, and executioner on the spot. That might not be the best route though.

This past Tuesday I was at morning services with Ezra, my 6th grader, at his school. The Principal, Rabbi Engel, related the following story which took place over 50 years ago: a very poor boy once got upset and dumped his school’s entire allotment of pudding for that month on the floor because he couldn't get seconds. The next day, the principal, Rabbi Aryeh Levine, took him into the office and, instead of berating him, opened his cabinet and pulled out 2 bowls of pudding which they ate together. This same child later became the principal in that same school.

May Hashem bless us this year to be smart and wise.

Good Shabbos, Stay Jewish, Be Jewish, Live Jewish,

Sun, September 24 2023 9 Tishrei 5784