To Share Or Not To Share?




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    To Share Or Not To Share?

    To share or not to share? This is a question we encounter often, and there’s a halachic aspect to this where it would be appropriate to consider it if we’re talking about common yet sensitive matters, e.g., shidduchim, business affairs, and the like By Beis Moshiach • Full Article

    By Rochel Braun, Beis Moshiach

    To share or not to share? This is a question we encounter often, and there’s a halachic aspect to this where it would be appropriate to consider it if we’re talking about common yet sensitive matters, e.g., shidduchim, business affairs, and the like.

    Beyond that, there is a wide range of a gray area in such areas… During my youth in Australia, there was a well-known expression that “everything spills out eventually.” It seems that this whole concept merely grows stronger with the passage of time and takes expression in various facets of our lives, from the clothing we wear to expressions of emotions and thoughts that in days past would have remained personal and private.

    It has reached a point that “If you didn’t photograph it, you weren’t there!” – whether we’re talking about a family outing, a class trip, a concert and what not…

    Truth to be said, there’s really something good here, even geula’dik, about our urge to share everything.

    Who gives us our bodies, our talents, our limitations, if not the Aibishter Himself in all His glory?  So shouldn’t we express our thanks by being proud of it. Wouldn’t it be appropriate that if someone dear to you gave you a piece of jewelry, you’d display it proudly?

    Once upon a time, people hid the existence of children with special needs. Today, Baruch Hashem, things have turned completely around, and they not only know to search for ways to help them, but also to see their unique qualities and show appreciation for them, their parents, and their families dealing bravely with some serious challenges.

    In the past, men were ashamed to share their feelings and emotions with others. Today, we realize that each gender is a composite of all the sefiros.

    “Look at yourself in the mirror,” says modern psychology, “and you will love yourself!” This is quite correct, and it can be hard to do sometimes. Thus, if we don’t have a healthy and proper love for ourselves, how can we possibly fulfill the mitzva of Ahavas Yisrael? Instead, we should accept lovingly the pekel that Hashem has given us – in all aspects, literally and figuratively.

    Specifically because it’s so hard for us, we sometimes feel the need to convey a message to the world at-large, through our conduct that everything is fine with us – as good as it can get!

    * * *

    It’s all true, but there are of course other facets to the question of what to share and sometimes we’re simply very busy and preoccupied to pay attention to those considerations, not stopping to contemplate on what, how much, and why we have to show the outside world.

    So, think before you share. But quite often, the joy of life takes expression in spontaneous action, and this can be a very blessed thing. It’s enthralling to see young children bursting with joyous energy when they come across an open area where they can run, and a lawn they can roll on (I’d like to do that myself!)…

    However, at the moment that the joy turns into a less positive emotion, e.g., anger, jealousy, disappointment, the magic disappears and the anxiety starts. As mature adults, we have to act with moderation, in the manner of “the mind controlling the heart.” We aren’t always expected to face “Napoleon” with absolute calm, whether what we say or what we know is the truth, as with the famous Chassidishe spy, R’ Moshe Meizlish… Nevertheless, we are expected to make a serious effort in directing our emotions and actions through the channel of intellect.

    So, in such a case, when you thought after you shared, don’t hesitate to make use of one of the advantages of digital communication that is the “delete” button. Maybe someone in your social media group will take it the wrong way, maybe the publicity will create jealousy…or perhaps the subject matter will lead to some useless arguments. In the final analysis, people are more inclined to hold firm in their positions when someone is trying to convince them otherwise.

    * * *

    Another point: there’s a fine line between “boasting” and exaggerating in a negative direction. When we learn to accept ourselves, on the level of not being depressed that we aren’t perfect, while also recognizing our efforts as “beinonim” or “tzaddikim” (where a person wants to be is where he is found!), our external conduct will be as properly balanced as our inner conduct, our actions will reflect our values.

    That leads to another aspect of sharing: one cannot emphasize enough the importance of positive encouragement for all of us, young and old alike.

    When it’s possible through publicizing good deeds, in the family and out, such as musical evenings photographed and broadcast in the appropriate manner, etc., designed to give encouragement for good and positive activities, it would then be most proper to make good use of this, befitting the holy will of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach.

    If the purpose of the publicity or the open display of emotions is to increase in Ahavas Yisrael, to educate towards greater action, to elicit a healthy expression of joy (and all this in the framework and spirit of halacha), it will lead our efforts towards their proper place.

    At the True and Complete Redemption, may it come speedily mamash now, “it will be heard in the cities of Yehuda and the streets of Yerushalayim … the sound of a groom and the sound of a bride.” Chassidus explains that while now the bride remains silent, in the Future to Come, the bride will be able to express herself audibly since the world will be repaired, with properly balanced energy above and beyond all measure and limitation!

    Let’s share responsibly.


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