Jan 14, 2010

Entitled to Speak?

Everyone is entitled to say whatever they want.

People show an overwhelming need to express themselves and hear others express themselves

Everything can be said ...

These are very recent sentiments in our secular and Jewish societies.

Up until very recently the world (including Jews) raised children on the principle of "children should be seen and not heard." Even when children grew up, they knew that their opinions were not to be voiced, that parents and authority figures had the final word, sometimes the only word.

People had a more of a sense of knowing their place and wouldn't dream that their opinion was on a par with that of a learned person and that they had any sort of "right" to speak up before their elders.

Today, online, everybody can comment about anything they please.  Not that long ago, your only recourse was to write a letter to the editor and it might be printed.  If you called a radio program, you might be heard.
What does the Torah have to say about this?

- Lavan is called a rasha for speaking up before his father Besuel.

- Regarding the sale of Yosef, Rashi 49:4 says that Yissocher and Zevulun, the children of Leah, would not speak up before their older brothers.

- The laws of Kibud Av V'Eim including an older brother because the mitzva is for the purpose of instilling us with respect for authority which ultimately leads us to respect G-d's authority.

- When the judges of the Sanhedrin stated an opinion they did so from the least important to the most important so that it didn't end up with the least important among them rubberstamping the leader's psak.

Who am I to bring up this topic when I started this blog to express my view and I welcome your input? Good question!

1 comment:

  1. It is said that bloggers elected President Obama and opinions have an even bigger chance of winning us over if we are reading them online. There is the chance that someone could increase mitzvah observance or give tzedukah to a cause from reading something online. There is also the chance of the opposite occurring.