“It is better for a person to cast oneself into a fiery furnace rather than put another to shame in public.” Talmud
For many years in my adult life I had the tongue and wit of a viper. I was the master at honing in on your greatest vulnerability and exposing it in public, much to the enjoyment of others. I was a rapier with a sword of words that I thought were funny, but caused much pain. I had no dignity or integrity for myself, so how could I for you? Pointing out your faults and weak spots was an act of cruelty that caused great pain, and as the Talmud states, I would have been better off burning myself in a furnace than hurting you in public.
I have made many amends in my life since the fateful day in October, 1988. One of the most critical was learning that it hurt when someone teased me about my weight, hair loss, height or some other point of vulnerability and that the golden rule did apply with a slight variation: “Do not do unto others what you would have them not do to you.”
In my sober journey as a Rabbi and Addiction Counselor, I have had myriad opportunities to share my story with congregants and clients. They are often surprised and don’t believe me. I reassure them that I was one nasty SOB while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
There are moments during the treatment/counseling process where my mind still conceives of something biting to say, but today I know the pain it will cause and with your and God’s (whatever that means) help, I no longer say what is hurtful.
My prayer for you today is that you learn to love thy neighbor as yourself, and if you are not able to love you, ask someone who does love him/herself to help you to learn, so that you may ease your pain and the pain you cause.
I am a modern and independent South Florida Sober Rabbi with an MSW Degree and 23+ years of sobriety providing Sober Coaching and Addiction/Spiritual Counseling focusing on energizing, affirming, motivating, healing, spiritual guidance and personalized life cycle events.
If you, a family member or friend are suffering, call me at 954-755-3764 to get the help you deserve.
I can help you!
Hugs and blessings for a joyous day!