What is the Torah perspective of how to deal with the problem of feeling rejected by others?
Now, rejection is a word that’s taken from modern psychology. Of course people don’t want to feel rejected but the very first thing for us to learn is there’s only one criterion of right and wrong and that is the Toras Hashem. What people say is not important at all. It’s only what Hakodosh Boruch Hu thinks of you that matters.
However we should take the da’as habriyos, the opinion of others, as an indication of something that might not be so good with us. If people have some reason to reject us, it could very well be that there’s something in us that deserves to be repaired, remedied. And we should learn from that and we should try to find out what’s wrong with us.
But suppose it’s not wrong in us; suppose it’s wrong with them – suppose they reject you because you’re too frum; then you reject them – that’s all. Why should you worry any longer? כבוד חכמים ינחלו – Those who are chachomim, they deserve kavod and the fact that fools won’t honor you it’s only because they don’t know whom to honor.
The fools honor the entertainment artists, they honor the baseball players; so let them honor. They’re fools. But you know what really deserves honor, so rejection from people like that is a word that means nothing.
Unless chas v’shalom the ziknei ha’eidah reject you. That you have to worry about! Does the rav of your shul reject you? Does the rebbe of your yeshiva reject you? That’s a big problem. Oh yes!
Reb Yisroel Salanter said that the opinion of the ziknei ha’eidah, of the ziknei ha’ir, that’s the da’as Hashem. If you want to know beforehand how you will be judged in Olam Haboh, the way the ziknei ha’ir think of you, that’s how you’ll be judged in Olam Haboh. That’s important! But the fact that this person or that person rejects you is meaningless.
What do the chachmei haTorah think of you? You don’t know? Find out from those who are closest to you, what they think. What does your rav think about you? Now, he may welcome you with a glad hand and make you feel that you’re important, but the question is, what does he actually think of you! Try to find out! And if you ever hear a word of criticism from him, you should take it seriously. That’s the rejection that means something.
TAPE # 858