Monday, June 25, 2007

Nobody Wants To Hear It

You know how many speakers use everyday events as a mussar haskel, "I was on my way here, and I heard on the radio..." I come up with those all the time. I can almost predict what a Rabbi's saying in his speech if he witnessed/heard the same thing I did.

But the more I think about mussar, the more I realize that nobody really wants to hear it from anyone, anyway. If I were to write a really preachy post, -which I have done- people would say,-or probably already did- "Who is this 21-year-old 'Michelle' to tell me what to do?" Others however, feel it's easier to accept something coming from their peers, since it's more attainable, and think, "Well a regular Joe Schmo is saying this..."

But then when it comes from Rabbanim, it's the whole, "I'm not on the level" argument, or as I've mentioned previously, we have [unfortunately] begun to see many Rabbanim as flawed individuals, and feel that they can't preach if they're not perfect themselves. Because it's not like they're a regular Joe Schmo. They're supposed to be above everyone else. But now we realize that they aren't. I generally fall into the second category, "that's not on my level," which I must admit is a LAME excuse and a weak defense.

I think many people are just full of themselves, that they don't wanna hear it from anyone. They want to live life doing the wrong thing, and delude themselves into thinking they're getting away with it.


At 6/25/2007 7:37 PM, Anonymous a senior? said...

im not sure i follow on the first paragraph- clarification por favor

At 6/26/2007 7:19 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

" If one would tell his fellow chaver there is a spot on your face his chaver would answer remove the beam of wood from between your eyes"


Ani medaber latzmi u mazcir l aherim...

(No one wants to hear words of mussar so I am writing this sefer for myself and others can listen. )

....introduction to Mesilas Yesharim...

At 6/26/2007 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the people who don't want to hear it don't voluntarily go to those speeches, as far as i know. some people actually do want to hear it, though, so to say "nobody wants to hear it" is wrong. as for flawed rabanim, i don't know who says that they're flawed so their opinions shouldn't matter. they are human. of course they have flaws. anyone who says that is looking for a lame excuse. when a person has flaws in some areas, they can still help others in other areas. there is nothing difficult about this. unless there is something personal you have against a certain rabbi, there is no reason to roll eyes at him. if you don't want to hear it, don't go to his speech.

At 6/26/2007 8:25 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

A senior- (how cool does that feel?!) I just meant like, speakers use examples from every day life to teach a lesson. Like, "on my way here, I saw two children fighting, and when Jews fight, we make H-shem 'sad', like the mother of the two children..."

Anon- well, when we had speeches in high school or seminary, i went in hoping to gain something, because I had to be there anyway.It was my way of making the best of the situation, I guess.
And those who want to learn something are usually the ones who don't need it. Like I said in "Aimed At No One," people who went to the menschlichkeit speeches probably were already nice people. It's the people who needed it that didn't go.

At 6/26/2007 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So essentially, this article is the same as aimed at no one.

At 6/27/2007 7:06 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

anon- now that you mention it, oops.

Don't worry I have a newer, more ORIGINAL piece in the works.

At 6/28/2007 6:43 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...


"" If one would tell his fellow chaver there is a spot on your face his chaver would answer remove the beam of wood from between your eyes"

Where is that in the Talmud? It's a classic Jesus line.

At 6/28/2007 6:47 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Ortho--it is?! I know I heard it in Seminary, but I generally wouldn't quote the source unless I was sure of it.

And, good to have you back!

At 6/28/2007 6:53 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

Ah, nevermind, I got it -

Talmud, Arakin 16b || Rabbi Tarfon said: “...for if one says to him: ‘Remove the speck from between your eyes,’ he would answer: ‘Remove the beam from between your eyes!’ ”

Matthew 7:3--5 || "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother: 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."

Interesting - who's quoting whom?

At 6/28/2007 7:12 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...


Thanks, I've been away on business last week.

I suspect though that the Book of Matthew was quoting Rabbi Tarfon since they were contemporaries and I can't see Rabbi Tarfon reading or listening to Christian sources while Jewish converts to nascent Christianity were common.

At 6/28/2007 7:34 AM, Blogger Orthoprax said...

"It was stated in the text: The blank spaces and the Books of the Minim [i.e. the Gospels], we may not save them from a fire...R. Tarfon said: May I bury my son if I would not burn them together with their Divine Names if they came to my hand. For even if one pursued me to slay me, or a snake pursued me to bite me, I would enter a heathen Temple [for refuge], but not the houses of these [people]..." - Shabbat 116a

See, R' Tarfon shared no love for them.

At 6/28/2007 8:59 AM, Anonymous hesh said...

You have been tagged

At 6/28/2007 10:25 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I have zero interest in that stuff, Hesh. Can I have a new question, please?


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