You should repeatedly rebuke (hochiach tochiach) your neighbor (VaYikra 19/17)
Chazal explain that the double wording of rebuke (hochiach tochiach) teaches us that if a person rebukes his neighbor and the neighbor doesn’t change and improve his actions, then he is required to rebuke him again and again (even a hundred times) until his neighbor finally changes .
Zera Shimshon gives another explanation. He explains that teshuva is a process. It is rare that a person is rebuked one time and immediately changes. Rather, the first time one hears that he is doing something wrong he begins to feel remorse for what he did. Only after he already feels bad in his heart does subsequent criticism have the power to cause actual change.
Zera Shimshon continues and maintains that to point out to a person his wrongdoings isn’t necessarily considered valid halachic rebuke. Halachicly, rebuke is only valid if it is appreciated by the one receiving the criticism.
It doesn’t end there, though. There is even a higher level of rebuke that causes him to love the criticizer!
The Gemora (Erchin 16/b) tells us that Reb Yochannan Ben Nuri said that Rabbi Akiva was often punished by Rabban Gamliel because he (Yochannan Ben Nuri) reported to him Rabbi Akiva’s misdoings. This, exlained Yochannan Ben Nuri, caused that Rabbi Akiva increased his love of him (Yochannan Ben Nuri)!
According to this, concludes Zera Shimshon we can understand the double wording of rebuke (hochiach tochiach). There are two stages in rebuking. Firstly, rebuke one time and check if the one who you rebuked appreciates it and shows you more love. Only then, since this was is halachik rebuke, can you rebuke a second time.
If you see, though, that he doesn’t appreciate your criticism then not only are you exempt from rebuking a second time but you shouldn’t do it! This is learned from the Gemmora (Yevomos 65/b) Just as there is a mitzvo to say something that will be heard, so too there is a mitzvo to refrain from something that will not be heard.
This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun
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