Parshas Devarim 5780
QUESTION: When a mother suffers pain because of her child suffering, is it a positive or negative reaction?
Any kind of commiseration, any kind of compassion, is a mitzvah, because we are walking in the ways of Hashem. והלכת בדרכיו, you should walk in His ways. מה הוא רחום אף אתה רחום.
So therefore if a mother has compassion on her child, or anybody has compassion on anybody else, it's a good middah. Of course you have to be careful, כל המרחם על האכזרים, if you have pity on cruel people, like those liberals who have compassion on murderers, סוף נעשה אכזרי על רחמנים, you are cruel to the kind people. True compassion is always a mitzvah, and therefore you shouldn't be ashamed, and you don't need any justification.
However if you'll add the ideal that you are emulating Hakadosh Baruch Hu, then you have a mitzvas asei: v'holacto b'drochov is a mitzvas asei, one of the taryag mitzvos. So if you'll think that I'm doing it because Hakadosh Baruch Hu wanted me to emulate His ways, even better. But whatever you do, you have to know that compassion is a good middah, it's a Jewish middah, because it's Hakadosh Baruch Hu's middah. Whether it's compassion of a mother, or compassion on other people, not your own child, never be ashamed of compassion.
Of course you should always do it in the gidrei Hatorah, never because of compassion allow your child to wheedle you into getting something that's wrong for the child. A child begs his mother, "Ma, let me out on the street. Everybody's on the street in the nighttime. I have to stay in the house!" No compassion, stay inside the house. No streets for our children! Nighttime is a sakono!
Boys and girls in the house, always! Up till the time that they're ready to go out and get married.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
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