#107 Tochecha: Rebuking in the Jewish Way

#107 Tochecha: Rebuking in the Jewish Way

rebukeIn this lesson you will explore the Jewish idea of “tochecha – rebuke.” The questions of when, how, and if to rebuke somebody is an important Jewish question. Do you have a responsibility to say something if you know that an offender is hurting themselves or hurting others? If you rebuke somebody, will your relationship with the other person suffer or improve and how do you know? You will explore all these issues in the following lesson.

#1 THINK ABOUT THIS:  To rebuke or not to rebuke – this is the question

The definition of rebuke = to scold or criticize or repreimand someone for their actions.

“You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and incur no sin because of this person” -Leviticus 19:17

But isn’t it more complicated than that????

#2. STUDY THIS: When is it good to rebuke?

download“Those who rebuke find favor and a good blessing falls upon them.” – Proverbs 24:25

Rabbi Jose said, “A love without reproof is no love.” Resh Lakish said, “Reproof leads to peace; a peace where there has been no reproof is no peace.” – Genesis Rabbah 54:3



Discuss: “How does one benefit from rebuking another?”

Discuss: “Is there a relationship between honesty and the willingness to rebuke?



#3. WATCH. 

#4 STUDY: When is it not good to rebuke?

 “To correct a troublemaker or rebuke a wicked person is to bring down abuse on oneself. Do not rebuke a scoffer, for that person will hate you. Reprove a wise person, and that person will love you.” – Proverbs 9:7-8

“It is our duty to reprove when we are likely to be heeded but it is also our duty to withhold from reproof when we are not likely to be heeded.” – adapted from Mesilat Yesharim by Moses Hayyim Luzzatto.

Discuss: Should you consider protecting yourself before you rebuke another person?

#5: WATCH : 

#6 STUDY THIS: What is the right way to receive a rebuke?

95141-91627It can be difficult to receive a rebuke. We might feel to proud to accept someone else’s criticism. But remember what the wise sages once said, “A love without reproof is no love – reproof leads to peace; a peace where there has been no reproof is no peace.” – Genesis Rabbah 54:3


Discuss: How does this idea influence the way you will react next time somebody rebukes you or gives you constructive criticism?


1. What is the Hebrew word for rebuke?
2. When is it good to rebuke someone? When is it not?
3. What is the right way to receive a rebuke?
4. Have you ever been rebuked in a helpful way? When and how?

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Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)!

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