Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg, Menahel, Yeshiva Ohr Eliyahu (LA) gave a number of lectures at the Life After Teshuva conference in Passaic in 2001. Today we are making available part 1 of “You Used to be So Much Fun – Relating to Non-Religious Family and Friends”.
You can click here to listen. (To download the audio file to your computer, click with the right mouse button on the link and select Save Target As)
Here are some of the main points from part 1:
In his introduction, Rabbi Goldberg tells us that he’s not discussing halachic issues. And he is not going to talk about how to change our friends and relatives.
We have to look at what can we do to improve these relationships. What have we done to be part of the problem? We can’t talk our way out of problems that we might have behaved our way into.
Every organization is perfectly aligned to get the results that it is currently achieving. In other words if we keep doing what we’re doing, we will keep getting what we’re getting. If we want to get different results we have to do something different. We have to focus on what we can do, because that is the only thing in our control.
Rav Noach Orlowek said in the name of Rav Simcha Wasserman upon being the asked “What can I do to get my parents to understand me?”. Rav Wasserman replied “To get your parents to understand you, you have to try to understand them. As Shlomo Hamelech says “Just like when you see your reflection in a pool of a water, so to the heart of one person to another”.
Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt”l said Shlomo HaMelech uses a pond instead of a mirror, because to see your reflection in a pond, you have to take the action of leaning over. So too here, we have Torah, so we need to make the right moves. Don’t allow Torah to split a family apart.
How do we understand parents? In the second blessing of Shema in the morning we say “Place into our hearts, to understand, to know, to hear, to learn and to teach”. If we don’t understand and know, then we haven’t heard. First we have to know and understand – where are our parents coming from. After we know and understand, then we can hear. And when we reach the point of hearing then we can learn. After we have understood and known and heard and learned – only then when can teach.
The source of so many problems is that we became religious and we went right away into the teach mode. So to build a relationship, we must first listen and understand our parents.
To be continued..
(The entire Life After Teshuva series. is highly recommended. It’s $75 for the set of 15 tapes. )