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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Be the bearer of good tidings!

Daf Yomi Kesubos 21

A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to Cuba.  He stayed at a hotel in Havana that he booked online.  The website looked gorgeous, but when he arrived there, the place was nothing like they had portrayed.  The rooms were smelly, the bathroom dirty, the carpets were stained and the elevator didn’t work. The TV was black and white and the mattress was an inch thick.  He went on and on and finally told me that he was planning to write a scathing review on Tripadvisor.

I agreed that that would be a good idea and asked him if he’s a regular contributor to the site.
“Actually, I’ve never written a review before.  I’ve never needed to.  All my other travels have been pleasant!”

Rabbi Aba quoted Rabbi Huna quoting Rav: Three people sat down to validate a document and one of them had an objection raised against them.  Until they have signed the document, the other two may testify concerning their friend’s worthiness.  Once they have signed, however, they may be biased, and may not testify and validate his status.

The Gemara asks: What was the objection raised against this judge?  If he was accused of tainted family status, what testimony is required?  We can easily uncover the facts of his status!

When it’s bad news, everyone talks.  When people have tainted status and problems in their life, everyone wants to know all the gossip.  It’s easy to know what’s going on, because suddenly everyone is speaking about them.  People love hearing about the skeletons in the closet. 

Are people as interested in telling and hearing good news?  Do they talk about the wonderful behind-the-scenes chessed (kindnesses) people are performing?   Our Sages tell us that even the greatest Jewish sinners are filled with mitzvos like a pomegranate is filled with seeds!

It’s time to start talking about the incredible virtues you see all around you!  When you hear someone make a disparaging remark about someone else, tell them they have no idea about all the good things that person does!  Now, you might not know what those good things are, but rest assured, you are telling the absolute truth, no matter how the person appears to be.

And even if they don’t have many redeeming qualities, know that they are children of the Almighty.  They don’t have tainted status issues.  They have the most incredible Father!  They were created in His image and no matter what they’ve done, their Father loves them with a greater love than any mortal parent loves their children, regardless of their actions.

The Almighty loves all His children.  Their status is impeccable.  May you merit always spreading good news about everyone and defending the honour of all His children!

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