Between Mercy And Judgment

Dr. Michael LaitmanIt is written in King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs (Mishlei): “He who spares his rod hates his son.” Parenting is built on judgment and mercy, just as we are governed by judgment and mercy from Above. There is no place here for unconditional love because the child must sense a balanced influence of these two forces.

In so doing we show him that he has freedom of choice. Let him make his choice every time, but he has to know that the wrong choice will instantly result in a negative reaction. As he grows, the child will acquire increasingly greater freedom for independent action because the negative response, for example, the “rod,” will be increasingly concealed. In the end, we will raise a person who lives in a wide world and knows that he exists between these two forces, reward and punishment, and that in order to follow a straight path, he has to actualize his free will in every step he takes.

The attitude toward all children, from the littlest ones to big kids like us, has to stem from exerting and controlling judgment and mercy, gradually annulling them in accordance with the education level. We give the child more and more freedom, passing to him control over himself, until he comes out into the world and accepts from us these “reigns” of judgment and mercy, so as to become an independent person in their optimal combination, in the middle line.

This is what we instill in him, and he accepts from us the right and left lines, reward and punishment, and continues to build himself with their help.
From the Talk on Education 9/29/10

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One Comment

  1. Dear Rav,
    In this world the adult child at some point have gained lots of experience and knows a lot about how NOT to use his Free Will (choice) and stays out of trouble (Punishment) more than he did when he was younger. And the adult child’s activity level also decreases as his age increases, thus reducing the possibilities of incurring reward and or punishment. But all that he knows is still what he has encountered or dealt with in the past. And he is still faced with reward and punishment upon encountering New things such that he is bound to still transgress first (i.e act wrongly with his Free Choice and get punished-Left Line) before learning the right way (Right Line) second. Moreover, no matter if he is 100 years old, he will never know the right way to use his Free Choice (and avoid punishment) with something completely new to him which he has never before experienced or dealt with (i.e not in his memory bank of good and bad ways to act). Unless of course he gets correct advise from someone who has had that experience and knows the right way. Often though, we do not get the right advise for various reasons including lack of resources or simply lack of time to locate someone who knows and can tell us. So we act from a place of limitation which usually turns out wrong . Therefore it seems that the only way that a man in this world will not be subject to Reward and Punishment is if he has experienced all there is to be experienced in his life and as such, he knows all the Right and Wrong ways to use his Free Choice. And I don’t think there is such a man yet and Even so all that knowing will be of no use to him since he has nothing else left to experience.

    1) Is all of the above similar to how Judgement and Mercy is administered in the 3 Lines used in Spirituality?

    2) Are there any movement (up or down or side ways) in the Middle Line?

    3) Does erecting and operating from the middle line ever completely nullify Judgement and Mercy?

    4) Is the Middle Line sort of a reservoir or container or vessel or memory bank where the corrected (behaviors, acts or deeds?) which resulted from the interaction of the Left and Right Lines is stored for future recall and use?

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