Raise Yourself Up

When the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom Dovber, was a child, he played with his older brother, Reb Zalman Aharon (Raza).

During the course of their antics, Reb Zalman Aharon dug a pit and placed his younger brother into it.

When their father, the 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel, heard the cries of his son, he called him to ask for an explanation. Through his tears, the young Rabbi Sholom Dovber blurted out what his older brother had done to him.

The Rebbe called his elder son and asked him: “Why did you place your younger brother into a pit?”

Reb Zalman Aharon responded: “This is what he deserved. I am the older brother and therefore it is only fair that he be shorter than me. I put him into a pit so that he wouldn’t be so tall!”

His father, the Rebbe gently explained to him: “If you wish to be taller than your brother, it is not proper to make him shorter than you by throwing him into a pit. Instead, you should stand on a rock or a chair. When you raise yourself up, you do not need to throw your fellow down…!”

All too often, we make the same mistake in our lives as did Reb Zalman Aharon. Instead of raising ourselves up, we instead focus on denigrating others. The Rebbe taught, with fatherly advice that this is not the proper course to take in life.

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