From the desk of Rabbi Leonard(Yehuda)Blank MS.BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
June 25, 2020

When a chaplain has a visit with a patient whose opinions, on religion, current events, humanity and other thoughts that might be challenging to respond to, how important it is to have a clear mind, listen, but don’t react in any negative way even should his or her comments be unkind . Even a rav of a shul must respond appropriately when a congregant speaks his or her mind in a way that one might not appreciate whether it be the tone of voice, language used to express ones opinion or feelings or having a totally different opinion about the subject matter being discussed.  With so many things happening in the world today or even in our own neighborhoods, it is easy to be drawn into a conversation that will only lead to lashon hara, machlokes or controversy. It is understandable why at the Shabbos table discussions about business, politics and other so called weekday concerns or issues should be avoided. It is more appropriate to remember the sanctity of the Shabbos table. Returning to the chaplain, one leaves anything of a personal nature at the door to a patient.  A chaplain should have a pleasant demeanor, should be caring, not prejudicial, not judgmental nor opinionated. He/she should listen with a kind and caring heart and interested in the patient. The same with a husband and a wife or parent with a child. My wife ah was so caring about others and would not be drawn into negative discussions. It would be difficult having a conversation that would lead to loshan harah or negative feelings or opinions about others. I hope to share more about her in the days after the shloshim, her inspiration and encouragement she gave me and the role model she was with her wonderful midos and love of the Aibershta. All of our lives should be dedicated to making a Kiddush H, We should take from the Torah readings of how important it is to keep a strong kesher with the Aibershta which can only bring goodness for ones self and Klal Yisrael. Have a good demeanor, a good disposition, a caring and sincere heart – be erlich and kind to others. Thank you an sincerely, Yehuda Blank