Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson

The Way to Relate to One’s Followers


Various Rabbis

[After being suspected by Eili of being drunk], Chana responded: "No, my master." Ulla or Rabbi Yossi ben Rabbi Chanina said [explained her implied message]: She said to him, "You are not a master in this matter, and the Divine Spirit is not upon you, for you have wrongly suspected me in this matter." Some say that she said the following: "You are not a master in this matter; do you not have the Divine Spirit upon you, that you have judged me in the direction of guilt and not of innocence?"

Ein Ayah: A true "master" deserves that title due to the shleimut (completeness) in which he relates to those who depend upon his leadership. He should be so concerned about the welfare of those that are called his subjects that he should sense through his love each one’s level and situation. Even if he does not enjoy outright Divine Spirit, he should be able to arrive at the truth by seeking the truth. That is why Chana said that Eili, in regard to this matter, was neither a master nor did he possess Divine Spirit, for either should have sufficed in this matter.
The second version of the gemara posits that Divine Spirit would not suffice to allow Eili to know that which is going on. He would still need to care enough to know that which is going on with his follower. That is why she said that since Eili did have Divine Spirit, the fact that he suspected her is a sign that he was lacking in his relationship with one who acted as a servant of his.

The Moral Importance of Human Pride
(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 5:24)

Gemara: [Chana said to Eili]: "Do not mistake your servant for an immoral woman" (Shmuel I, 1:16) - from here we see that if people are suspecting someone of a matter that is not true (literally, is not within him), he should inform the one who suspected [of the mistake].

Ein Ayah: The feeling of dignity is a pillar of the world of morality, as many people refrain from doing improper things in order to avoid being shamed in people’s eyes. Therefore, it is proper even for a great person, who does not need such reinforcement, to use this technique for the betterment of society. That is why one should let others know that he is free of the guilt he was suspected of. In this way, he protects his personal dignity, which is important even if it does not bother him what others think so that people get used to caring about their dignity.
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