Monday, May 27, 2024

Yevamos 54: The Student’s Honor

On this daf, we find that one is held accountable for paining or embarrassing his fellow.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky recounted that when he was a child, the melamed had a particular practice to drill into the children the importance of learning well. He would seat the children according to their Torah knowledge.

“One time, one of the best boys was lazy and the melamed decided to teach him a lesson. He sent him to sit on the last seat in the classroom. This child was very sensitive and was humiliated to the depths of his being. Sadly, this boy went off the derech.”

One child had a problem with stuttering, much to the amusement of some fellow students in Yeshivas Kol Torah. The embarrassed bochur went to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and told him that his fellow students had shamed him publicly.

Rav Shlomo Zalman summoned the bochurim and explained to them the seriousness of this prohibition, but the boys gave an excuse: “We couldn’t stop ourselves.”

“That’s no excuse. You should have done anything you could to prevent yourselves. You should have held your breath until you overcame this noxious impulse to laugh at someone else’s expense!” (Chashukei Chemed; Shalmei Moed, p. 523-524).

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