Flatbush Park Jewish Center
Flatbush Park Jewish Center is a modern Orthodox synagogue in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, New York, founded in 1952.
We are a modern Orthodox congregation committed to Torah study and its observance; daily prayer, morning and evening; strong support for the State of Israel; charitable support of worthy institutions and individuals. Our membership is a mix of young and old; of American, European and Israeli birth, all sharing a deep commitment to Jewish life and community. We strive to build and maintain a vibrant, dynamic and cohesive Jewish community in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.
Our mission is to foster among our membership and the surrounding community an abiding commitment to halacha, kashrut and mitzvot, and bring them into a personal relationship with Hashem, which represents the essential foundation of any Orthodox institution.
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Message from the Rabbi
Message from the Rabbi:
Do not allow yourself to be misled by an evil person.
"AND IT WAS WHEN LAVAN HEARD ABOUT THE COMING OF YAAKOV THE SON OF HIS SISTER, AND HE RAN TO GREET HIM, AND HE HUGGED HIM AND HE KISSED HIM, AND HE BROUGHT HIM TO HIS HOUSE. AND [Yaakov] TOLD LAVAN ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED." (Chapter 29:13)
How would you describe Lavan's behavior towards Yaakov from reading this verse? It would appear to be an extremely warm and loving greeting by an uncle who was sincerely happy to see his nephew. However, let us take a look at Rashi and see how the Sages viewed Lavan's greeting.
"And he ran to greet him": Lavan assumed that Yaakov would be loaded with gifts since when Eliezer, their family's servant, came he brought along ten loaded camels. "And he hugged him": When Lavan didn't see anything, he said to himself that perhaps Yaakov had concealed gold under his garments and therefore he hugged him. "And he kissed him": Lavan said that perhaps Yaakov had diamonds hidden in his mouth and that is why he kissed him. Therefore Yaakov had to explain that he was fleeing for his life and was penniless.
We know how important it is to judge people favorably. However, if someone is an evil person we are obligated to judge him unfavorably. Some people might find this rather harsh, but that is the reality: with evil people assume the worst.
We need to master the ability of seeing the good in the bad and the bad in the good. Then we need the wisdom to know when to use each ability. Judging an evil person on the side of merit is not a virtue but a fault. Failure to be on guard to protect yourself from a deceitful person can cause you and others much damage and heartache. There are some people who naively refuse to believe that there are people who do all that they can to cheat them. The way of Torah is to use wisdom to know when to assume negative motivations and when to judge people favorably. Unfortunately, too many people fail to judge others favorably when they really should. However, the opposite extreme of believing everyone is considered the attribute of the fool.
Today the world still chooses to believe the Arab world. There are many politicians that believe that Iran is a wonderful country and we should be patient with them. We must understand that these people are evil. Failing to understand that will cast us an overwhelming price.
SHABBAT SHALOM - Rabbi Perelson & Rebbetzin Perelson and the whole Mishpacha