Ethics

For the week ending 30 January 2010 / 14 Shevat 5770

Listening Patiently

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: I am frequently approached by friends and neighbors with problems they think I can solve for them. In some cases I am tempted to cut them short because I lack the expertise or experience necessary for advising them. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: When one has a heavy heart, say our Talmudic Sages, he should unburden it by speaking to others.

The person who approaches you as a non-professional advisor is not necessarily looking for a brilliant solution. Just talking to you about the problem makes the worried person feel better.

But don't underestimate your ability to actually help solve the problem. Perhaps you have been chosen by Providence to serve as the successful advisor and will therefore gain Heavenly assistance in coming up with a solution.

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