Bein Adam Lchavero

Bein Adam Lchavairo is a blog dealing with interpersonal relations within the Jewish community and the interactions of the Jewish and Gentile worlds. We're new. Be gentle.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This post is about something of which I am guilty. I'm sure it doesn't apply to anyone else reading this, but it was such an epiphany to me that I felt the need to share it. It doesn't necessarily deal with the stated purpose of this blog, but it does deal with Bein Adam Lchavero and, considering that our Sages teach us that the Second Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple in Jerusalem) was destroyed because of hatred between man and his fellow man, this seems like an appropriate time to post it.

Here's a short story that doesn't really go anywhere:

This past Shabbos, I was at a friend's house for one of the meals, along with a recently married couple. We were discussing various movies we'd seen recently, and the third gentleman (not the host) pointed to his wife, who was part of the conversation, and said, "She wanted us to go see [name of movie]."

The End

As I said, it doesn't really go anywhere.

On a related subject: A small number of years ago, I was talking to a friend of my father, and I made reference to my mother, using the impersonal pronoun "she". My father's friend promptly corrected me, saying something along the lines of, "Your mother is your mother, not 'she'." I understood the point he was trying to make, but the distinction was lost on me, until the above story occurred. When he referred to his wife as "she" - in her presence and [figuratively] to her face - to me, it sounded very crude and uncouth. Here is a man with his wife - his ezer k'negdo (lit. "a helper opposite him"; fig. a person's other (spiritual) half) - and he can't even give her the dignity of a personal pronoun ("My wife wanted..."), much less her name ("Tamara* wanted..."); instead he dismissed her to the realm of am impersonal relation.

Now it could be that she didn't mind - maybe she didn't even hear him - but I did, and it bothered me. Now I understand what my father's friend was trying to teach me not-so-many years ago.

*Not her real name.


Blogger Outoftown said...

My mom also used to hate it if my sister or I refered to her as she. Now as a mother myself, I can understand the feeling much more. It isn't nice to refer to someone, especially when you are in their presence, as he or she.

Nice post.

12:26 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

Great point.

3:07 PM  

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