We learn that a person should bring people close with his one arm and keep them distant with the other arm? What does that mean?
It means like this. Let’s say you have a child; you have to show affection for a child, you have to show love for a child – but don’t be a pal to your child! Not a pal! Your child should know you’re the parent.
I know in America it’s a different Torah but still the way of Hashem is forever and ever. A parent should not demean himself; he should not belittle himself. A child must know who is the child and who is the parent.
So when you’re sitting at the table, as soon as the child is old enough, say, “Chaim’l, bring me a glass of water.” Don’t run and fetch it yourself. “Chaim, bring a glass of water.” It’s a training for a child. Train your children to do things for you! Train them. After a while, they’ll begin understanding that the function of a child is to do honor to his parents.
If a girl goes out in the morning, she has to go to the Bais Yaakov, so she eats her breakfast quickly and she leaves her stockings on the floor for the mother to pick it up. Her mother is her maid? No; that’s no good.
The mother should say, “Come back please and pick up your stockings.”
“I’ll be late!”
“Never mind! Come back and pick up your stockings anyhow.”
Children should be trained to do things not only for themselves. They should feel it’s an obligation to serve their parents.
Now, the same applies to everything. A husband and a wife – a husband has to be very kindly to his wife; as kindly as he is to himself. And still, he should realize he is the husband. He should always be the captain of the ship. There can’t be two captains on the ship. I don’t care what the world will say. You can have a first mate, yes. And you have to treat the first mate right, otherwise there’ll be a mutiny. But there has to be a captain. A captain there must be.
And therefore, everything in life must be with a certain order. There’s a certain dignity that we have to accord to our great teachers. You can’t be too friendly with your teacher. Have respect for your teachers. I’m not talking about here in this place; I’m talking about when you leave here and go back to the yeshiva, to your rebbis; be friendly to them, but be respectful at all times.
You know, when Moshe Rabbeinu was talking to Bnei Gad u’Bnei Reuven and he told them, “You wish to get some land on Ever HaYarden? I’ll give it to you if you go in the vanguard to conquer Eretz Canaan.” That was the condition. “If you’ll go in the vanguard to conquer Eretz Canaan, I’ll give you what you want of Ever HaYarden.”
Listen to what they said: עבדך יעשו כאשר אדני מצוה – Your servants will do like our master commands. You hear that? They called themselves servants of Moshe Rabbeinu. That’s the way they spoke. עבדך יעשו כאשר אדני מצוה – Your servants will do like our master commands. They called him our master; Moshe was their teacher and they were the servants. That’s the way to talk to Moshe Rabbeinu! You’re servants!
And so, even though Moshe Rabbeinu was the most humble of all men – there wasn’t a man on this earth who was as meek and humble as Moshe Rabbeinu – nevertheless there is a certain amount of dignity that’s required and if he would yield that dignity, Hakodosh Boruch Hu would be displeased with him.
TAPE # E-43