For the week ending 24 April 2010 / 9 Iyyar 5770

Lending an Ear

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Become a Supporter Library Library

Question: I have a neighbor who is constantly bombarding me with his wild ideas about how to save the world. Listening to him is a waste of time but I am afraid of hurting his feelings by telling him what I think of his plans. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Just as there is kindness in providing people with their physical needs, there is also chessed in providing them with their emotional ones. When you devote some time to listen to your neighbor you are giving him the attention he desperately craves. It is useless to try to point out the lack of reality in his idea because in his distorted thinking he is convinced that he is right. The best thing to do is to simply state that what you heard is indeed interesting and you need time to think it over. That should hold him over till the next brainstorm.

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