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Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Av 15
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Do not put a stumbling block before the blind (Leviticus 19:14).

The Talmud extends this concept to include giving anyone wrong advice. Clearly, no rational person would knowingly put an obstacle in front of a blind person. Similarly, no one with a conscience would knowingly give anyone bad advice, but sometimes people inadvertently do so because they fail to think things through.

While good intentions are laudable, they are not always enough. "Here, take some of these pills (for sleep, headache, anxiety, joint pains). My doctor gave them to me, and they are excellent." It is well to remember that "one person's meat is another's poison." This principle cannot be more true than when it comes to medications.

Amateur psychology is a popular field; so many people like to offer advice to husbands, wives, and parents as to what to do about their school troubles, marital problems, and children's discipline. Less than amateur legal advice is also available in abundance.

Our egos may feel good when we offer advice, and we may sincerely believe that the advice we are giving is sound, but great caution is necessary to avoid unintentionally misleading someone. If any of our advice is wrong, we have in fact "put a stumbling block before the blind."

Today I shall...

be cautious when offering advice and moreover avoid recommending something unless I am absolutely certain that it is the right thing to do.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...



 

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