Last week’s stretch of the week was: Find a way to make a kiddush HaShem within your own family.
Please allow ONE person to share her experience with this exercise for ONE minute.
We have been focusing on the concepts of Kiddush HaShem.
We have learned that in order to be a Kiddush Hashem, we need to carefully consider the way we appear to others. We have also learned that too much pride in ourselves and our accomplishments can result in negative behaviors toward others. This can be a precarious balance. However, we do have a direction to keep us from wavering too much to one side or the other-the concepts of modesty and humility.
While we want to give the most positive impression, by following societal norms, where possible, by keeping our homes and businesses neat and attractive, and by dressing and carrying ourselves regally, the concepts of modesty and humility will help us to be doing this for the right reasons. If we are portraying ourselves as individuals worthy of a second glance, as worthy of respect, our motives must be that we are doing so as representatives of HaShem and His Torah, that our objective is to be mekadesh HaShem, and not as self-promotion, image-management, vanity or conceit. Arrogance or a sense of superiority based on our personal achievements is truly the antithesis of kiddush HaShem, so our motivations must be carefully scrutinized. One might think that broadcasting our accomplishments and achievements is an appropriate venue for influencing others for Kiddush HaShem. On the contrary, it is the discreet, non-ostentatious performance of mitzvos, acts of kindness, etc., that are the true expressions of the mitzva as all hints of ulterior motive are gone. With today's proliferation of social media, we must be especially careful not to flaunt the ideals of privacy and modest behavior.
(Reproduced from Living Kiddush HaShem by Rabbi Shraga Freedman, with permission of the author. For more resources, please contact: email@example.com.)
Examples and Discussion Questions:
How do we strike the correct balance? Suppose an organization wants to honor you at the annual fund-raising dinner? Do you accept the honor? Perhaps you will bring a considerable sum of money to the organization by virtue of the number of friends, family, and business associates who will come? But there will be speeches detailing your many good works for the community, some of which will be well-deserved. The community will have an opportunity to express its appreciation for all you have done. Relating your accomplishments may affect others to become more involved. What should you do?
When we speak about modesty, we are often speaking about specific modes of dress. How can we broaden the discussion with our daughters to include modest behavior as well as modest dress?
Stretch of the Week:
Change one element of behavior, in dress, speech or action, to a more modest one this week.