Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Instruction: It's our job, apparently


"'Instruct your peer (Vayikra 19:17)' – This is another mitzvah, to teach him ethical instruction, 'and you shall not bear sin for him,' for should he sin and should you fail to instruct him, you would bear guilt."

"הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך" - מצוה אחרת, ללמדו תוכחת מוסר, "ולא תשא עליו חטא" שיהיה עליך אשם כאשר יחטא ולא הוכחת אותו. 

(Nachmanides to Vayikra 19:17)

Have a great day,


  1. I wouldn't translate tochecha as instruction. I think reproach or moral protest would be better.

  2. David-
    I wondered if anyone would call me on that. My sense is that להוכיח is more about demonstrating and showing than it is about the harshness of reproach. Do you know of a linguistic basis for the harsher translations (reproach, rebuke, etc) which are so common?