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The Apple of His Eye

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The Apple of His Eye

The month of Elul is a time for repentance and introspection before the coming of Rosh Hashanah. Yet there are some who use this time of year to chastise their congregations instead of inspiring them.
Fingernails, Shochet, Criticism; Rebuke, Elul, Lubavitcher Rebbe
The Apple of His Eye
Disc 143, Program 572

Event Date: 21 Av 5744 - August 19, 1984

The month of Elul is a time for repentance and introspection before the coming of Rosh Hashanah. Yet there are some who use this time of year to chastise their congregations instead of inspiring them.

A shochet must check the smoothness of his blade by running his fingernail over its edge. When the shochet does so and feels nothing, there are two possibilities: One, that the knife is flawless, and two, that the knife is indeed flawed, but the shochet lacks the sensitivity to feel it.

The lesson, in the words of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, the Previous Rebbe, is that “One must use his fingernails on himself,” to first test whether he has the sensitivity to rebuke others, before seeking flaws in his fellow Jews.

The preferred alternative is to simply judge others favorably.

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