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Informed Debate

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Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz once overheard two people engaged in a bitter argument, which soon disintegrated into an exchange of shouted insults.

“May I suggest,” said the Chassidic rebbe to the combatants, “that the two of you exchange roles. Instead of broadcasting the other’s defects and shortcomings, each of you should announce his own.”

“The net result would be the same –  now, too, both of you are being revile – but with two significant gains. First of all, the insults will be more accurate, since a person has far better knowledge of his own faults than of those of his fellow. Secondly, it is a grave sin to insult a fellow man, and a significantly less serious offense to embarrass oneself.”

Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber

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