״לא תונו איש את עמיתו״ ויקרא פרק כ”ה פסוק יז
If one embarrasses others by reminding them publicly, they have not only spoken Loshon Hora, they have also transgressed the prohibition against aggravating another Jew with words. One who points out another’s lack of wisdom or skills or degrades him in any other way has violated this prohibition.
It is interesting to note that this prohibition is written near another seemingly unrelated prohibition. That is the prohibition against acting unjustly in a business transaction. If a buyer deceives the seller into selling him an object for a one-sixth price below the market price, he has violated this prohibition. Both prohibitions are worded the same way: לא תונו, and written next to each other, what is the connection?
When one aggravates another by pointing out his faults, he makes him seem less valuable, as a person, than he is. Deflating the value of another person or another’s merchandise for personal gain are sins that are akin to one another.
I recall a situation that took place back in high school. I was sitting in Gemara class, and the Rebbe asked me to read the Gemara and give my peshat, understanding what the Gemara was saying. I started to read, and yes, I was prepared! Now imagine the Rebbe pacing back and forth with his hands behind his back and his eyes closed. As I was reading the Gemara, I paused for a second to change my understanding of what I was reading, and the Rebbe continued the words of the Gemara without hesitation.
I sat there and continued the Gemara, but I felt something was missing from the Rebbe. I am sure he did not understand or think about what he did, but I understood it in 3 different ways. The lesson that I took that day was that we need to work on ourselves no matter who we are, help with our patience with others, and understand our surroundings. If you ask me today what Gemara it was, I cant tell you. What I do remember is the impression the Rebbe had on me that day.
As we go into Lag BaOmer, we need to work on ourselves in public or family situations. Just the other day I was driving, the lanes started to merge into one lane. There is a proper system for merging lanes, letting a car at a time merge in front and behind you. The lady next to me would not allow me to merge in front, which almost caused an accident, then she pulled up next to me, something was said, not sure what. She might have been apologizing, not that I could understand what she was saying from her car.
As we get back to what was everyday life before Covid, let us understand our surroundings and those we are engaging with day to day.
Stay safe and healthy, Shabbat Shalom.