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Phit Tips for Elul: Resolutions - Frame them as Project Based

09/14/2016 10:03:10 PM

Sep14

Last week I recommended generating resolutions based on the "If I had more time, money, or a particular good thing I'm wishing for happened, then I'd...." formula of Temple vows.  This week, we have an idea for formulating resolutions for the coming year.... coming from --oy vey I can't believe I'm saying this-- a Google executive.  This is the first time I'm basing a 'phit' tip on a non-Jewish source.  I'm doing so because I have had it with people giving advice to "follow your passion" as if that's helpful.  How do you know what your passion is?  How do you know it's something that the world is interested in, or you'll be interested in?  Where do you start?

Jenny Blake, the co-creator of Google's career development mentorship program, struck a sympathetic nerve in me when she wrote in her new book, Pivot, that the advice to "follow your passion" is unhelpful.

If you're frustrated and not sure what you should be doing with your life, "I recommend people follow a project-based purpose," which is about finding projects that excite you and make you feel like you're causing an impact.

Phit Tip #10:  Start asking:  What projects am I most excited to tackle in terms of what I can learn the most from?  What projects will make an impact on my organization [business, family, non-profit, etc.]? On others? On society?'  Then develop and try a small project that incorporates some of your interests. 

Doing these small projects will slowly steer you in the right direction, to a point where you will feel like you've found purpose.

She writes:  "By understanding what's both interesting and the impact piece, people can set a project-based purpose for the next year or the next two years or even for just the duration of the project... And that takes the pressure off of having to find one defining passion that's never going to change."

Develop a small project for this coming year, and make that an agent of change for the coming year. Meditate on it, and the steps of bringing it to fruition, in synagogue during High Holidays.

Rav Nadav

Phit Tips for Elul: #10: A Shortcut to Making Resolutions

09/07/2016 04:17:09 PM

Sep7

Now that we are in the month of Elul, it is customary to spend time each and every day in spiritual preparation for High Holidays.  What better way than to start practicing previous Practical Holiness tips and to start some new ones?

In my latest podcast above (if you see something in the box above, that's it, or if not, you can listen by clicking here), I discuss the role of "vows" in our spiritual lives.  After all, the power of Kol Nidrei --which means "all vows"-- is the power of having our vows to God "reset" for the 25 hours of Yom Kippur introspection and for the coming year.  What vows, conditional and unconditional, are we talking about?

Unconditional vows include anything you told God you would do, like call your mother more, lose weight, stop raising your voice, be on time, enforce the no-cell-phones-at-the-dinner-table rule, come to the Yom HaShoah service, etc.

Conditional vows -- a staple of Israelite spirituality in the Temple-- are the "Y" part of any thought or prayer of the form:  "God, if only X happens, then I'll do Y." 

Judaism is a religion that is extremely understanding of human nature.  It makes perfect sense to say, "God, if I should be lucky enough to have the good fortune of X..." where X could be a bountiful harvest, a bonus or promotion at work, a healthy birth, a good report from the doctor for you or a loved one, good news that the car only needs a spark plug and not a new transmission, etc., then you'd do something, Y, that you know to be valuable.  Sure, it might be saintly to want to do the right thing without making the condition of some good luck, but we're not a religion of saints.  We're just Jews like the rest of us with whom we stand on Kol Nidrei.  In fact, the conditional vows we silently say to ourselves tell us a lot about who we are and what we want.  It's a short cut to God.

Phit Tip #10:  Complete the following statements for yourself:

"If I had more time, I'd be a better person by doing..."

"If I had more money, I'd be a better person by doing..."

"If I had that thing I've been hoping for, I'd be a better person by doing..."

Now take your answers and construct your New Year's resolutions from the answers.  Remember, on Kol  Nidrei, your vows from the past year will be annulled, and you've a free slate for the coming year.  Don't show up to services not knowing whom you want to become:  that's what you're praying for.  Use the vows to construct a vision for yourself bringing holiness into this world for the coming year.  Then use High Holidays to reflect on your choices, share them with God, yourself, and relevant others, and plan out their completion.  And here's the kicker:  once you've done this work, go ahead and take away the "If..." part.  That's a natural way our mind works, but in the end, we know we don't really need the guarantee of good luck to become the person we want to become.  Do it just because it's the right thing to do.

That's Jewish.  That's the psychological, High Holiday process.

Rav Nadav

Phit Tip #9: Shema! Preserve our Hearing!

06/08/2016 05:48:15 PM

Jun8

It's hard not to be struck by the repeated mentions in Tanakh of seeing and hearing Revelation. Ezekiel's “vision” is just that, the graphic details of the normally invisible Divine Presence he is given to see. On Mount Sinai, all the Israelites were present to "see" the revelation, and their response was the famously enigmatic, “Na'aseh v'Nishmah!  We will do and we will hear!”  Our one line of creed, the Shema, literally means, “Listen!” We inscribe it on the doorposts of our homes: Listen, Listen, Listen!

     The greatest teaching I've ever heard about seeing and hearing revelation does not come from the Talmud, nor from Kabbalah nor Jewish philosophy. It was a sermon given at Ner Tamid years ago by my father, Rabbi Ivan Caine. In a stirring and profound message, my father said, “Ever since I was young I've read the words that at Mount Sinai we saw and we heard revelation. And now that I am older, what I keep thinking is that seeing and hearing are exactly the faculties that we gradually lose as we age, and it fills me with pathos.

     As my own vision and hearing have begun their decline, I feel the weight of my father's words. I used to think it was just my vision that was experiencing the “post-40” deterioration into bifocals, but now I realize that my children can easily hear the words of TV shows and music when played at volumes well below my intelligibility threshhold.

     Paradoxically, while the average child can hear things just fine at very low volumes, we live in a society that bombards them with deafening volume, all part, I suppose, of America's adolescent preoccupation with action and sensation over wisdom and reflection. Louder somehow is always better. The average volume of movies at theaters is certainly too high, practically deafening, so that Lynne and I decided years ago to stop going. Yet people create home theaters to recreate the experience. We give our children parties with DJ's blasting music into their ears so loud that when you shout a sentence at the person sitting next to you they cannot hear you. We send our kids to camps and public schools full of “pep rallies” with ear-splitting amplification. And our girls attend “dance classes” where they dance a few feet from speakers whose music I can literally hear clearly from a distant corner of the parking lot outside. And when not bombarded externally, we allow our children to don headphones to listen to music at whatever volume they want, certainly emulating what society has taught them is normal: THE LOUDER THE BETTER!

     The preoccupation with making childhood fun by making it loud causes the hearing loss we experience later in life. The deterioration of our seeing may be inevitable, having to do, it seems, with decreased elasticity within the eye. But science tells us that most of our hearing loss is the result of damage caused by loud sounds in our youth, whose deleterious effects are delayed until our later years. Given this fact, I find no logical conclusion possible except that we are complicit in committing child abuse by allowing our children to be exposed to (bombarded with) sounds at a damaging level. We will be laughed at, and mocked, should we tell the camp director, the principal, the dance teacher, the DJ, that we do not want our children exposed to these volumes. We will have to face our children's ire when we pull them out of a party or class, because that is the only choice we are given. Yet part of the wisdom of adulthood is that when I am convinced that the rest of the world is crazy, and I am not, then trust my instincts because at the end of the day I have to face God, not a human, when I am judged.  The defense that “everyone else was doing it, too” doesn't carry weight with the Jewish God. It is time to protect ourselves and our children from future hearing loss by actively pulling them out of these common situations, even if we face social ridicule for doing so. Isn't this what Judaism is about, protecting childhood so that we can experience wisdom in maturity, hear the words of Torah in our later years? How can we have mezuzot reminding us to “Listen” while we sow the seeds of its destruction?

 

PHIT TIP:  Fulfill the Shema by actively preserving your future capacity to hear by walking out of situations where the sound is too loud, and protect your children as well, even when it is an unpopular action

 

The "still, small voice" of God that Elijah heard isn't getting any louder.

Phit Tip #8:  Serve God with your Excess (esp. before Pesach)

04/13/2016 07:00:08 PM

Apr13

(To View a Youtube Version click here.)

 

When we pray the Ve-Ahavta following Shema, we pray "You should love Adonai your God with all your heart (b'khol levav'kha), all your soul (b'khol naf'shekha), and all your extra (uv'khol me'odekha(."  The Rabbis puzzled over what this last word could intend, but some like Rashi suggested the simple take away:  "extra" refers to the possessions, including money, that go beyond what we really need to live, and thus one should love and serve God by giving them away to worthy causes.  We own so much more than we truly need:  we attain holiness, and feel so much lighter and better, when we are giving it away.

 

According to the Biblical book of Kohelet, there is a time to acquire and a time to discard. While we traditionally prepare for Rosh Hashanah in six months by buying new clothes, foods, and other items to celebrate our shehechiyanu moment of arriving at a new beginning (and thus we acquire the new things we need for our new phase in life), we do the opposite this week: in preparation for the exodus of the Pesach seder, we let things go.  We clear out our pantries, clothes closets, garages and so on, and we give away anything that is not often-used to charity.  (It's amazing that our tradition's holy schedule actually reflects a rhythm we view as modern:  Back to School shopping at Labor Day, and Spring Cleaning.)

 

If you haven't worn an item of clothing in the past year, you probably don't need it.  If you haven't eaten all those boxes of food and cans (even if chameitz-free), give them away before they expire. Go through the boxes in the garage, books no longer relevant to your life, sports items, electronics, everything.  Load up the car and take it all to charity.  (I've already done two loads from home and two from the synagogue.)

 

Phit Tip #8:  Prepare yourself for the spiritual journey out of Egypt ("in the middle of the night with only your essential possessions") during the Seder by using this time to do a full Spring Cleaning to give away your rarely-used possessions (clothes, food, toys, books, electronics, etc.) to charity.  Be "light" (spiritually and materially) and ready to go when you start the Seder.  When you do so, you serve God not only with your heart and your soul, but with "me'od'ekha" (your extra).

 

Good luck with your preparations.  Meet you at the Exodus!

Rav Nadav

Phit Tip #7: Holy Timing of Validation and Guidance

01/28/2016 07:17:23 PM

Jan28

 

Phit Tip #7:  Make this your practice: when a friend, family-member, or coworker shares a problem or frustration they are experiencing: Validate first; and only later that day, share your guidance at the sacred times of meals, learning, and bedtime.

Our first Phit Tip was that, as a rule, one should not give constructive criticism, and in the rare cases when we offer it, we must ensure that it is not only invited but also invited in the right spirit (e.g. not just because the person knows you're dying to say something).

 

Nevertheless, there are times where it seems that we simply must say something to help another with our advice because we are within a family, friend, or work relationship where it would be weird not to offer direction. A child or grandchild says that a teacher hates them, or a spouse or friend or parent is struggling with a problem, a coworker keeps getting flustered by difficult clients. We feel duty bound to help. (Don't confuse these with situations where we simply want to give unsolicited advice.) Is there any middle way between blurting out our advice, keeping silent, or asking for an invitation?

 

According to psychologists, the best way to handle these situations is as follows: in the moment when the person shares their problem with you, use your words to VALIDATE THEIR PAIN. “What an awful situation to be in!” “I hate it, too, when difficult people ruin your day.” “I've had teachers who seemed to have it in for me.” “That must have felt awful when that happened.” Then, LATER, WHEN THAT CONVERSATION IS OVER, DELICATELY INTRODUCE YOUR ADVICE DURING ONE OF THREE TIMES that have been identified by researchers as especially receptive for receiving advice: dinner time (around a table), bedtime, and when learning something together. (I would add “walking the dog” to this list.)

 

Is it pure coincidence that these three times coincide with the times when a normal Jew should be saying blessings at home during a normal weekday? They are: before a meal (hamotsi), when going to sleep (shema with hashkiveinu), and before learning wisdom (the blessing of la'asok b'divrei Torah, occupying oneself with words of “Torah” in its broad sense of the wisdom of practical living). Of course it's not coincidence! Blessings are not meant to be an automatic but empty prayer to God: they are meant to help us identify the quality of sacred opportunity in moments of time. Blessings are a denial that all moments of time are homogeneous and ordinary: they are an affirmation that we channel holiness into this world when we get our timing right.

 

So while one validates when another has shared a problem or pain, later, with the right timing during one of these three sacred opportunities, one shares their advice to make it better. While learning (watching a documentary, helping with homework, during Torah study, discussing a book, article, Ted talk, podcast, or Hebrew School lesson, etc.), while getting into bed, while sitting around the table with cell phones off, we strike a different note: “You know, I've been thinking about what you said earlier. It occurred to me that I once had a similar problem, and I found it helpful when I asked the teacher for an appointment to discuss my last grade, and I told them how important it was to me to gain their respect, which I didn't feel I had, and....” or “You know, I was thinking about what you said, and I've noticed that you're really good at using your sense of humor to diffuse tense situations. I wonder if that would work with you here.” or “I've been thinking about what you said: is there anything you could do tomorrow to make the situation better?”

 

Don't let all times of the everyday be equally ordinary. Channel holiness by getting the timing right. When we walk with God's rhythm, we heal souls.

Phit Tip #6: Donate to Our Local Soup Kitchen and Homeless Shelter

12/29/2015 08:26:04 PM

Dec29

Phit Tip #6: Carry with you food coupons (or small bills) to give to the poor you encounter. (Be rational: don't get rear ended trying to hand money out of your car.) And write annual checks to the Interfaith Community Services soup kitchen and homeless shelter. 

 

A few years ago, a family had been dutifully attending Saturday morning services for the year before their son's Bar Mitzvah, when one day the mother approached me after services. “It seems like every week the Torah focuses on our responsibilities to the poor and vulnerable, but where are the practical instructions for what exactly we're supposed to be doing?”  I was happy to answer, as the Talmud's prescription (Bava Batra 8b) is concrete and unequivocal:

 

Every town is obligated to have a soup kitchen, a food pantry, and a clothing closet for the poor, and every resident is obligated to contribute toward them prior to supporting non-local charities.  (And what to do for the street beggar?) You give the street beggar a little [money or food], but not too much: [let them serve as a reminder to immediately] contribute to the local soup kitchen and food pantry.

 

When I teach these laws, I find most children and adults want to steer the conversation to the ethical-legal issues of giving money to beggars who might be addicts or con artists. Surely, everyone wants to say, we shouldn't be giving money to street beggars who either “make more than we do, rabbi!” or “will just spend it on drugs or alcohol.” Curiously, this is one time in Jewish law when such discussions –usually encouraged to discern ethical subtleties-- are strongly discouraged, as they rapidly lead to lowering our sense of obligation to give rather than reinforce it (which ultimately is the reason to have ethical discussions). The law itself already handles the issues: Anyone who is begging in order to make more than they need will not achieve their aims since you are giving “not too much” (in today's terms, a dollar or two, or a food voucher). And if they are addicts, then you are welcome to give them food vouchers or food [as I invite homeless outside of Starbucks to come in and pick out anything they want and add it to my tab], but if you don't do that, you are not permitted to use your suspicions as an excuse not to give a little money. As a former slave people, we understand that human dignity comes from the freedom to make choices, and so we don't deprive them of their dignity by patronizing them with a refusal to give them anything at all. If the worst happens, and a beggar buys a beer with your dollar, you at least gave them the momentary dignity of making their own choices, without giving them so much as to endanger them.

At the same time, the law takes care of these concerns in another way: while you give the beggar just a little, you are reminded to send in a generous contribution (actually required, not optional) to the local soup kitchen and food pantry, for they are the ones that fulfill the Torah obligations of providing immediate sustenance while, even more so, getting the poor back on their feet. The real mitzvah is not the little you give to the beggar, it's the obligation to support the local organization that does the professional, Torah-instructed work of “making it so there is no needy among you.”

 

Our local food pantry, located at Interfaith Community Services in Escondido (but which serves our area), has expanded by now having a Soup Kitchen and “Haven House,” the first year-round emergency shelter in the history of our North County community, with beds for 50 people, to facilitate the process of connecting those in need with jobs and self-sufficiency.

 

Many are not aware that ICS was established by Jews to fulfill Jewish law, but in recent years is mostly supported by the local churches.  Let us all take pride in our community rising to a higher level of holiness by donating not only to our Temple but also to our local soup kitchen and shelter, as the Talmud prescribes.

 

 

The State of Ner Tamid Services and Phit Tip #5: Observe your yahrzeits.

11/19/2015 04:02:12 PM

Nov19

Phit tip #4:  "Commit yourself to attending services at Ner Tamid for all of your yahrzeits."  

 

Make this your practice:  On yahrzeit weeks, come to as many of Friday night, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning services as you can. (Make sure Gina has all your yahrzeit information on file, so we can remind you.)  Do this mitzvah not only out of respect for the loved one whose yahrzeit it is, do this for holiness, i.e. for making a community, so you can be there for others as well as for yourself, so you reinvigorate the heart of Temple life.

Worship services are the beating heart of the Temple. Think of Judaism as a living organism. While other dimensions of Jewish life (social activism, professional ethics, personal spirituality, connection to Nature, banqueting and socializing, Torah study, home rituals like lighting Hanukkah candles and the Passover seder, etc.) comprise the other vital organs of the body (like the brain, nervous system, liver, etc.), services are the heart. People (the blood) enter, bearing their experiences, hopes, values, and humor, and leave having invigorated others and being refreshed (va-yinafash) themselves.

 

The heart at Ner Tamid is nearing life support status. Our regular cadre of 35 worshipers has dwindled to 15 though death and relocation. Nevertheless, service attendance need not be so low. The Jewish corporate body is designed by our tradition so that we make our minyanim not only through regular worshipers, but also through those occasional worshipers who are saying Kaddish for a relative, both during the mourning period and then annually on the anniversary (yahrzeit) of their death. It is longstanding tradition that on that anniversary –or on the near weekend-- a Jew helps make a minyan at worship services. The practice not only properly commemorates the life of the loved one, it also functions to support the community that supported you.

 

We are intertwined and mutually supporting: it is not a unilateral transaction of “go when you need a minyan” and then expect it to always be there even though you do not show up when others expect a minyan. Simply put, a worship community –the heart of the synagogue-- should be a combination of the regular worshipers plus the occasional worshipers (e.g. families attending during the months leading up to bar/t mitzvah). Even if you don't come every time, Judaism asks you to come some of the time, and some of these are at the times of your yahrzeit's.

 

Make your holy practice the yahrzeit mitzvah of passing through the beating heart of the Temple, so that we can have the vitality we need. Y'hei shlamah raba min shemaya, v'chayim alienu v'al kol yisrael, v'imru amen. “May a great shalom [peace, harmony, wholeness] descend from heaven and reinvigorate life below, and we say, Amen!"

Weekly Phit Tip #4: Greet everyone with a cheerful countenance.

10/16/2015 06:32:23 PM

Oct16

Phit tip #4:  "Receive everyone with a cheerful countenance." (Shammai, Pirkei Avot)

Make this your practice: look up from cell phones and other distractions whenever you are passing by another human being. Make yourself smile and greet every person in the store, in school, on the street, and so on with a cheerful countenance.  It will be awkward at first, but you'll find a way of doing so that becomes natural to you.  In doing so, you will bring holiness into the world and into your character.

In my lecture on the foundations of Jewish ethics, I explained that in many ways Judaism is about building a harmonious and meritorious society with a lot of people who actually really annoy you. Talmudic debate and disagreement, the minutiae of halakhah, required community celebrations, traditional Torah study: none of these presuppose that you do this with people you naturally like, but rather they humanize us in understanding how to get along and build relationships and build the world toward God's goals. We are not all natural friends. Hillel famously explained that ethics begins, not with loving your neighbor, but with avoiding being obnoxious to your neighbor. His formulation presupposes that we annoy each other and we must consciously create a different attitude. To put the matter simply, holiness is inseparable from politeness and good manners.

Hillel's debate partner, the great Shammai, established the principle (in agreement with his debate partner) that we must “receive everyone with a cheerful countenance.” This practice extends into many Jewish practices, such as helping one find their seat or giving directions, even when doing so violates a ritual proscription (such as during the Amidah when one is to remain silent). It's better not to “shush” someone, even if they have annoyingly interrupted you and should know better: instead, smile and be polite and help them. God will forgive you the ritual violation.

It is incumbent upon us to greet everyone with a cheerful countenance, whether we are passing others in a Starbucks, dealing with checkout clerks, passing parents dropping off children at school, everywhere. One has to develop a practice that works for them: one is not required to say “Hello” though this is permitted, but at the very least we should be smiling at everyone as we walk by, prepared to share a hello or acknowledgement.

One of my great professors at college used to greet everyone with a smile and a slight nod despite being a luftmensch (someone more comfortable lost in their own thoughts and likely knocking into you). I once asked him why he did so he. While not Jewish himself, he explained that his mentor has been a Holocaust survivor and had made this his own practice: after the horrors of Auschwitz, he felt that the very least he could do in this world was bring some beauty into it by smiling and nodding at everyone at all times.  My professor, his non-Jewish disciple and himself naturally awkward, adopted this traditional Jewish practice.

Let us adopt it as well, regardless of whether it is hard for us or we stand out.

 

Weekly Phit Tip: "shavat vayinafash"

10/08/2015 05:24:20 PM

Oct8

Why is it that we step into the b'rit (covenant) of holiness, and come into balance with the tempo of the universe, by observing Shabbat? Because Torah teaches (and we sing those verses in the Veshamru prayer), “Uvayom hash'vi'i, shavat vayinafash:” And on the seventh day, [God] ceased and was refreshed/reanimated.

 

Most people don't realize that the Hebrew word “Shabbat” is not the name of a day originally, it is a verb that means “He/She/It ceased!” The purpose of ceasing all action --both physical and mental-- which is the foundation of mindfulness meditation as I explained in my Kol Nidrei sermon, is that it causes the nefesh, the animating soul (your “life force”) to regenerate itself. When you feel exhausted from going non-stop (including recreation), your life force, like a candle flame, burns low, and you have little energy, or soul, for yourself and others. Our goal is to burn bright.

 

While there are many paths to holiness through "ceasing" (mindfulness meditation in prayer), and through the keeping of Shabbat, this week's phit-tip is about regenerating our life force through an even more common, practical part of our lives: sleep. So important was sleep to our great Sages, they instituted the practice of reciting the Shema as we get in bed, along with some version of the Hashkiveinu prayer [“Lay us down to sleep, Adonai, in shalom, and awaken us to life!...”] about bringing us peaceful dreams and a good sleep so we awaken re-energized for life! (Talmud Mas. Berakhot 60b)

 

It is estimated that 80% of Americans do not get enough sleep: you are likely one of them. We drink coffee, sugary, and energy drinks to give us enough energy to make it through the day. We wake up tired and go to bed too late. We are like God who was so busy going, going, going, that He didn't even realize that his nefesh was not being regenerated. Even God needs to stop and wait a period in order to be re-souled!

 

If you can't regenerate your life force, you have nothing to give to yourself and to others.

 

Phit Tip #3: Increase the amount of sleep you get by at least 25 minutes.  Some options:  Go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night.  Or take a 25 minute nap in the afternoon (even if it's just the “Shabbat” part of closing your eyes and stopping everything, whether you fall asleep or not). Or implement a way to increase your sleep that works for you. If you find yourself unable to fall asleep earlier, for example, try eliminating caffeine after noon, so you succeed in going to bed earlier, or exercise for 20 minutes after dinner so that your body wants to sleep more at bedtime. REGENERATE YOUR SOUL. GET YOUR NEFESH BURNING BRIGHT!  That way, you have more soul with which to work holiness into this world.

First two weekly Practical Holiness "p.h.i.t." tips!

09/27/2015 03:49:11 PM

Sep27

Here you will find my short weekly email with a practical Jewish teaching to channel more holiness into the world: a "Phit" tip (yes, like "Fit"):  a Practical Holiness Instructional Torah-Tip. 

The Talmud's view is that most sins are unconscious behaviors that we don't even realize are sins.  For example, we think of "stealing" as consciously taking something that doesn't belong to you, like shoplifting, when the Talmudic Rabbis believed that most stealing is unconscious, like not tithing 10 to 20 percent of your income to your Temple, or not leaving a percentage of your harvest for the poor to eat.  These are not cases of being "unkind," they are theft, because the money or harvest you used yourself didn't actually belong to you.

What we are aiming for in life is a quality of holiness to our behavior, which is an achievable ethical-spiritual-social way of living that involves avoiding these unconscious sins.  

In this week's practical Phit Tips to live more consciously "holy," I share from the Talmud the teaching:

Rav Dimi, brother of Rav Safra, shared the teaching: Let no person ever talk in praise of his fellow human, for through [talking in] his praise he will come to disparage him.  

This is the sin of "following a compliment with a constructive criticism."  One ought only to give constructive criticism when it is invited --according to the Talmud-- and even then, with only utmost care, since if it is hurtful, one has committed the sin of hurting another's feelings.  So this week:

Tip 1:  Refrain from following compliments with constructive criticism, and think ahead before even giving the compliment to make sure you will not unconsciously follow it with something unflattering.

Tip 2:  Also, don't give constructive feedback unless it is invited [or you ask for permission], and then, with utmost care not to put the person on the defensive.  If defensiveness is the result, the sin of causing harm to another is on you for not delivering the invited criticism correctly or having given it at all.

 

Sat, August 19 2017 27 Av 5777