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Comments (11)

(6) Mordechai, February 21, 2012 3:23 PM

or perhaps....

perhaps the Rav was trying to teach his sons the valuable lesson that there are even worse things than being irresponsible with a bottle of oil, such as speaking out negatively about others and throwing your brother under the bus?

(5) Lisa, February 21, 2012 2:25 PM

The Blame Game......

Everyday I have my teenage son read an article of interest....Bingo....this one fits the bill perfectly....especially since he too has brothers. Let's learn not to play The Blame Game!! Thank you!

(4) Anonymous, February 21, 2012 2:01 PM

Disappointment in actions is different than disappointment in the person

Rav Shraga wrote the blog very clearly, I think. His statement of disappointment was only about his son's actions, not the character of his son, which would be truly devastating for a son to hear. Sometimes we need that rebuke about our actions. Not enough parents learn to express their disapproval in a healthy way to their children. Furthermore, about why one acquires another transgression, he explained it is because the son sought to elevate himself above his brother, but, his speaking against his brother brought him to a lower level than he may have been at if he had remained silent or even better, taken the blame for his brother and offered to clean up the mess himself. The one who spoke up may not have spilled the oil and acted irresponsibly, but he spoke against his brother which is also wrong behavior, so he was at the lowered level at that time.

(3) Laurence, February 21, 2012 4:43 AM

Your son is better than I

If I was being charged with murder and I did not do it, should I silently await my execution. I think your parenting skills need some work. You were completely immature and wrong in my opinion based on the information given. You say your son understood right away, if this is true he is much better than I and I am 50, I can only pray G-d is not like you or we are all doomed to be punished just for declaring our innocense. More than likely your son understood but not what you thought, he probably understood the wrath of Khan would come if he didn't shut up and listen. Of course I could be completely wrong and you are so beyond my level of emotional maturity that I simply cannot comprehend this level of spiritual perfection but I will continue my personal growth journey as must be necessary based on my inability to understand your wisdom, thank you for this "teaching" you have enlightened me to a level of insight to how good the world may be when mashiac comes. Shalom (means destroy the authority attached to chaos)

Aliza, February 21, 2012 10:55 AM

not the point

Rav Shraga specifically pointed out that he did *not* accuse either son of breaking the oil bottle; he just knew one of them had done it. This is very different than being silent in the face of a false accusation of murder. I also was surprised that the denying son understood why he was being asked to clean up the spill, unless discussions about lashon hara regularly take place in their household. I also don't really get the connection between the son speaking up and thus taking on the traits of the one who transgressed. It's a great concept, but I think this could have been a much deeper, longer blog!

Rashi, February 29, 2012 3:46 AM

But it is the point. How do you make a child feel embarrassed when he had been so careful not to spill? And a lecture is beside the point and overkill. A simple "please be more careful next time. Oil is expensive and messy," would have gone a long way. And a request for the child who spilled to please clean it up would have been completely in order. A child who cannot 'fess up to his parent is being made to feel ridiculously stifled and mortified by the parent. That poor child will always remember the discomfort of this incident and for what? An obvious lesson that he probably could have figured out unless he is incredibly stupid.

Shraga Simmons, February 21, 2012 6:53 PM

there's an even higher level

The Talmud brings many examples of great people who accepted the blame for doing something they were actually innocent of -- just to spare another person (the real culprit) punishment or shame. Obviously nobody is required to go that far, but great people can and have done so. I mentioned this to my son (the one who spoke negatively) and asked him: What do you think would have been your brother's reaction if you had done THAT? And he said: He would have been very grateful to me, and probably would have quickly volunteered to clean up the spill.

David F, February 22, 2012 12:27 PM

Laurence stop being yeshivesh...

Do me a favor... how are you comparing this case with a false murder charge? in a case such as that, the halacha clearly warrants imlicating the guilty party. the rabbis point is clear, simple and true: slander does it's dammage and has direct consequences for the slanderer. Now, obviously the halacha deals with specific cases in which slander would not be regarded as such, but on the other hand the generall rule is that not everything that's true is kosher to say. If someone made a mistake(intentional or not), it's not always so clear that you have the right to use your most deadly weapon (speech) against him. Anyway, it's only when "moshiach comes" that people who speak like you will repent and be able to proclaim their "innocence" . good day amigos

(2) david, February 20, 2012 5:11 PM

You didn't answer your question

The statement still does not make sense and to be frank, your response also doesn't.

(1) Anonymous, February 20, 2012 1:24 PM

Telling a child that you are disappointed in him is one of the strongest rebukes you can use.

I disagree with your conclusion about your son's response. (Is he 8 or 9?) If you had said something that excluded your disappointment and focused on getting the job done well, you probably would have had a different response. Any son who respects, admires and loves his father would be crushed to know he disappointed him.

BEN FRANK, February 20, 2012 5:33 PM

one would never know

Had the negative child not been implicated, one would never have known how fearful he was of losing favor with his father. Now the strengthening of character can begin.


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