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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

The Value of Unsuccessful Rebuke

R. Zeira said to R. Simon: “You should rebuke the House of the Exilarch.” He answered: “They will not listen to me.” R. Zeira responded: “You should rebuke them even if they will not listen.”
Various RabbisTammuz 16 5777
51
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Gemara: R. Zeira said to R. Simon: "You should rebuke the House of the Exilarch." He answered: "They will not listen to me." R. Zeira responded: "You should rebuke them even if they will not listen."

Ein Ayah: The greatest moral aspirations, which are the light of the world and the basis for human life, must always be recognizable for their great intrinsic importance. These moral aspirations are more important for their holy energy and goodness than for the practical results they may bring. Positive results are nice finishes to the spiritual desires, which adorn the efforts, but there is nothing lacking even if and when nothing positive actualizes.
All hishtadlut (attempts to do something desirable) should always be forthcoming from anyone who has the spirit that enables him to actualize matters, at least to the extent of speaking in a forceful manner that could possibly be accepted. There are times that they will not be accepted because society’s lowly state prevents positive ideas from being implemented. When the social structure is skewed, even those who are capable of implanting positive change do not reach the necessary heights to do so.
This, though, is specifically a good time to utilize the strong tool of logical rebuke, which the community’s lay leaders should be able to accept, even if in practice they will not. The spiritual beauty of the ideas themselves is valuable. Also, we are confident that these efforts will form the basis for future spiritual improvements, when the time will be right. Even in the present, these efforts can help, unnoticed, curtail further deterioration.
Therefore, those who are in a position to use their oratory and spiritual abilities to rebuke should do so even if they do not expect positive results.

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