Pay Attention, Will Smith: Rabbis Illuminate How To Properly Administer a Slap

“If we want to help someone with a problem, our intervention has to be at the right time and in the proper setting”

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: America
Illustration. Photo: Oren Nahshon/FLASH90

There’s a lot of consequence going on in the world right now, but at the moment the only thing many in the entertainment-addicted West seem to be talking about is Will Smith publicly slapping presenter Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards (Oscars).

Yes, the “slap heard ‘round the world” is also being talked about in Israel, though it hasn’t dislodged weightier matters from the top headlines. Still, the rabbis of Chabad thought it an opportune moment to illuminate everyone on the proper time and method of administering a slap.

The teaching is an older one, but Chabat believed it relevant to the moment.

In short, a previous Lubavitcher Rebbe (leader of Chabad) admonished a young rabbi under his care that administering a slap or other form of rebuke is only truly effective with the proper timing.

The teaching concludes that “to have an effect on another Jew [or, presumably, any other person], we must first ‘warm him up’ and make him receptive. Then, you can ‘smack’ him (provide him with guidance involving constructive criticism). If we want to help someone with a problem, our intervention has to be at the right time and in the proper setting.”

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