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Proverbs warns us: “Whoever brings ruin on their family
will inherit only wind…” It is foolish to think that one can
hurt their own family and not hurt themselves in the
process. Whether by Divine retribution or by way of
natural consequences, when we hurt those closest to
us we bring ruin upon ourselves. In the end, we gain
nothing, we inherit only empty wind, when we make our
family suffer. Some sages explain that the Hebrew word
for wind, ruach, also means spirit, and they interpret this
phrase to mean that one who brings ruin on their own
family will bring a spirit of contention into their homes
and into their lives.
When we wrongfully hurt each other, no one gains. I
think this teaching is true of our biological families and
also of our greater family of mankind. When we bring
others down, while we may not realize it, we will suffer
as well.
At the same time, the exact opposite principle is true:
Whoever does good to their family will bring blessings
to his or her own self. Again, I believe this to be true of
our biological families as well as our friends,
acquaintances, and society. When we bring others up,
we raise the level of living for us all.
Let’s remember to do our best to be givers of love, joy,
and comfort – for God’s sake and our own.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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