G‑d implanted in people the nature to delight in praise and to yearn for recompense - both moral and material - for upright and proper behavior.

He instilled within them the nature to accept rebuke, and to admit the propriety of punishment which is deserving for misconduct and evil deeds.

As with other inborn or acquired characteristics, this nature is concealed and hidden in the inner recesses of the hearts and minds of pupils.

The mandate of educators and counsellors is to uncover this nature in their pupils, by fortifying, extolling and polishing their beautiful traits and virtues, and by removing, casting out and uprooting their despicable and coarse characteristics.

The receptiveness of a pupil to his education and guidance - and as a result, the success of his education and guidance - are dependent upon an educator's and counsellor's efforts in this regard.

The tools of one's trade are a sine qua non, for every artisan, regardless of the type of trade or occupation.

This is true of physical, mental, or ethically oriented work - such as teaching, educating or counselling. Only the tools vary with the type of work being performed.

The paint brush in the hand of the artist is as the axe in the hand of the builder.

And ethical behavioral tools in the hands of teachers, educators and counsellors are like the trade tools of artists and builders.

[Extending this analogy,] pupils are like raw material in the hands of educators and counsellors.

Just as raw material first requires appropriate conditioning, so too do pupils require proper preparation at the outset, to be receptive to the education and guidance that is suited to them.

In this way, they will become upright and good hearted, in addition to observing the commandments with a pure faith.

Praise and compliments uplift a pupil, extricating him from his present situation, placing him on a higher plateau. And recompense in the form of a good reward, motivate and invigorate a student, animating him with a yearning to ascend from level to level, in both his studies and conduct.

On the other hand, an educator - motivated by a concealed love - must also rebuke a pupil when necessary, pointing a finger at iniquities and transgressions.

This applies whether the misconduct was in a mundane or spiritual matter. In either case, an educator or counsellor ought to discipline him severely for his offense.

An educator or counsellor must choose the best and most effective approaches in praising and rebuking, and must select upright and becoming methods of reward and punishment.

That is to say, an educator or counsellor is obligated to concentrate, not only on the measure of praise or rebuke, and the measure of reward or punishment, but also on the double benefit for a pupil, when the pupil is convinced of the resoluteness and proper conduct of his own educator.

A pupil sees that his educator's or counsellor's admonishments are meted out with propriety and love, that punishment is dispensed with purity of heart, and that praise and reward are given in an appropriate measure as well.


An educator or counsellor must be most deliberate in choosing the form of his praise and reproof, and in his manner of dispensing reward and punishment to both bad and good pupils.