Monday, January 09, 2006

Cursed be their Anger

Parshat Va'Yechi

Yaakov calls his children to his bedside to bless them and tell them what will be at the end of days. When he gets to Shimon and Levi, he castigates them for their actions in the murder of the inhabitants of Shchem. Yakkov says, "Arur Apam..." Cursed be their anger..

Rashi tells us that even during his tochacha to them he never cursed them, rather he only cursed their anger. Another example of this idea is something we say daily in davening, " V'chol Ha'risha K'rega Tovaid" - and all the evil you should instantly get destroy. We do not say get rid of the wicked man, rather get rid of the evil.

In modern day psychology it is believed that it is wrong for a parent to criticize a child by saying, "Bad boy!" or anything to that effect where the action is directly associated to the child. It is better to say "What you did was bad (or wrong or whatever)" thereby not creating a stigma in the child that he is bad.
This modern psyche lesson is something the Torah already tells us from the days of Yaakov.

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