"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"

the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."

Rabbi Nosson Scherman

19 Jul 2012

Holes in the wall

The following is an excerpt from an email about the parsha by Rabbi Eli Mansour about the effect of harsh words.

The story is told of a woman whose husband frequently insulted her. She would respond angrily, which in turn provoked an even more offensive response, resulting in a spiral of back-and-forth shouting and name-calling. Exasperated, the woman consulted with her Rabbi, who gave her a curious piece of advice. He said that each time her husband said something hurtful to her, instead of responding, she should take a hammer and bang a nail into some surface.

And so, that day, when the husband insulted the woman, she didn’t say a word. She went upstairs with a hammer, and banged a nail into a wall. When he insulted her again for doing something so foolish, she again banged a nail into a wall.

This went on for several weeks, until finally the husband wanted to know what was going on. The wife told him about the Rabbi’s suggestion, and showed him the approximately 100 nails in the wall.

“I offended you so many times?” the husband asked.

“Yes,” the wife confirmed. “Each nail is another time you said something hurtful to me.”

“Well,” the husband said, “it should work the other way, as well. Every time I say something nice to you, you should remove a nail from the wall.” The idea sounded reasonable, so the wife agreed.

Sure enough, the husband starting showering his wife with compliments. He praised her for her meals, her appearance, and her personality, told her how much she meant to him and said that he loved her. Each time, a nail came out of the wall. Finally, the day arrived when the last nail was pulled out.

“You see?” the husband said. “It’s all fixed now. The nails are all gone.”

“Not quite,” the wife replied. “Yes, the nails are gone – but look at all the holes that are left in the wall. They still need to be filled.”
Read full devar Torah: http://www.dailyhalacha.com/WeeklyParasha.asp

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