Quoting: Be Respectful No Matter What

The Torah gives us an important rule in relationships: Even though you are suffering, you have no right to cause suffering to others. Whatever your distress, you still need to speak and act with respect. If you are ever in a bad mood, be especially careful not to speak or act to others in a way that will be distressful for them.

Sources: see Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler – Michtav MaiEliyahu, vol.4, 246; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Consulting the Wise”

This definitely has applications in the blogosphere and social media in general, but I’m not sure what the result would be. I suspect each group would interpret it to mean “listen to me and anyone who disagrees with me should shut up,” but that’s just a guess. Oops. I think this means I may not have taken the Rabbi’s advice to heart.

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11 thoughts on “Quoting: Be Respectful No Matter What

  1. While I don’t out of hand disagree with the Rabbi’s interpretation, I’d very interested in just what Book, chapter and verse he’s using to make such a claim. It is a bold claim “The torah gives us an important rule…”

    Have you read this particular book or can you give me some idea of what he’s basing his statement on? I’m just wondering if this particular “rule” is actually based on Dessler’s words and not the actual Torah…

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  2. I would say he disagrees with Yeshua, even if the “rule” is a good idea most of the time. And Yeshua isn’t the only one. One could look at stories of prophets in the Tanakh.

    We could break down what respect is. Respectful of what?

    Be Respectful No Matter What?

    … you have no right to cause suffering to others.
    Even though you are suffering…

    … be especially careful not to speak or act to others in a way that will be distressful for them.
    If you are ever in a bad mood…

    Whatever your distress…

    you still need to speak and act with respect.

    Bottom line, displacement [psychological concept], lies, and cruelty are bad.
    Most people aren’t as deeply considerate (not the same thing as “nice” or not painful) as a prophet.

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