Ethics

For the week ending 20 March 2010 / 4 Nisan 5770

Giving Credit

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: I am aware that it is so important to say something in the name of the person from whom you heard the information that such a selfless act even "brings redemption to the world". But if I was aware of that information before hearing it from another is there still a point in repeating it in his name?

Answer: The answer to your question lies in the Talmudic statement to which you refer when you mention the impact of such selflessness. Queen Esther, the heroine of Purim, brought about the redemption of her people by telling the king, in the name of her informant Mordechai, about the plot to assassinate him. The commentaries point out that Esther, whom our Sages list as one of the seven prophetesses of history, was aware through prophesy of the plot before hearing about it from Mordechai. She nevertheless gave him credit for it and thus set the stage for the happy end of the Purim story.

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