Ethics

For the week ending 15 March 2008 / 8 Adar II 5768

Salt and Sympathy

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: As the dinner guest of a friend I was shocked to discover that the soup served me was extremely distasteful. What is the right thing to do in such a situation?

Answer: This is what happened to the Chafetz Chaim when he dined at the home of a certain rabbi. The maid had salted the soup as she always did, unaware that the hostess had already done so in her effort to personally cook for her honored guest.

The Chafetz Chaim drank the entire bowl of soup without batting an eyelash. His host, however, grimaced after the first spoonful. The guest grasped his host's hand and begged him to drink his soup without saying a word. If the hostess discovered the maid's error, he explained, she is likely to scold her and this could lead to a nasty quarrel. The Chafetz Chaim suggested instead that they keep the whole thing quiet and compliment the hostess on a very tasty soup.

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