What is the Reason: Guests, Rav Noach & The Red Cow
My husband loves to bring guests into the home and I usually love hosting them. However, I do not enjoy all the people he invites. In fact, I feel quite uncomfortable with some of them and do not enjoy hosting them. Must I host them? Does my obligation to love all Jews require me to “love” people who irritate me? Does my problem reflect a lack in my commitment to loving others and to Chesed? F.T.
The Mitzvah of Loving Others does not obligate you to equally love everyone. The obligation is to find a positive quality with which you identify. Your only responsibility is to see the good in others. The Mitzvah and the demands of Chesed – Kindness, or more accurately, nurturing the life force of others, does not oblige you to open your home to people with whom you do not enjoy spending time.
I attended a memorial service for your uncle, Rabbi Noach Weinberg. One rabbi began his speech by mentioning that most people disagreed with Rabbi Weinberg’s approach. What did he mean? R.L.
Many of the Roshei Yeshiva believe that there are great risks in dedicating your life to working with people who do not believe. The teacher will spend countless hours answering questions and arguing about all the fundamentals of Jewish Belief. The outreach worker will often feel the need to make compromises as he or she guides people in developing a relationship with God. Families and children will overhear the questions and arguments and they all leave a mark. I urge you to read Ezekiel, Chapter 34, for Rav Noach’s response.
I have been listening to the BNN Special Reports on The Road to Purity. Why did they go to such lengths to protect the Ritual Purity of the participants in the offering, only to deliberately make the Cohen Gadol ritually impure and sending him to the Mikvah before offering the Parah Adumah? V.P.
A person who becomes impure and goes to the Mikvah is called a Tevul Yom – The Day of his Immersion – and has not completed his purification until after the Stars have come out. We have an Oral Tradition from Moses that a Tevul Yom may offer the Parah Adumah. There are those who reject any oral tradition and argue that it will send a message that we are not careful about purity laws. We therefore go to almost insane lengths to prove the absolute purity of Levi Aronson and our total commitment to law. We know that our making Levi and Tevul Yom looks strange so we must be extra careful in every other detail. We insist on his being a Tevul Yom to show our absolute faith in our Oral Traditions.