The World Revolution

A growing problem in our generation is rebelliousness against any authority figure. In the religious community, this rebellion includes dishonoring and denigrating rabbis and teachers. The resulting damage to one’s own children can be catastrophic and long-term.

4 min

Kalever Rebbe

Posted on 10.07.24

“You shall not profane the sacred of the children of Israel, so that you shall not die.” (Bamidbar 18:32) 


Revolution Is in the Air 

People have certain traits and qualities that are vile and lead to disgraceful behavior. One of these attributes is rebelliousness. This trait drives someone to dishonor leaders and rabbis and keeps them from being subjected to their advice and guidance. 

In this generation, there is a spirit of rebellion that is spreading throughout the world. Crowds protest their governments. Millions of people elect or support new political leadership even if that new leader is flawed and only espouses empty promises. People overlook those shortcomings; the revolution justifies all. 

The root of this attribute is desire. 

A man’s desires can be so powerful that he will pursue the pleasures of this world at all costs, even to the detriment of others. He can justify stealing, deceit, illicit relationships, and even bloodshed. Fear is the only thing that holds them back. They are afraid of law enforcement and the legal repercussions of their actions. 

Therefore, they view the government, legal system, and law enforcement as an impediment to the fulfillment of their desires. And, therefore, they despise these institutions. 


Why They Ridicule Rabbis

Unfortunately, the Satan is becoming stronger within the Jewish communities, convincing them to mock, ridicule, and dishonor Jewish leadership and the rabbinate. 

This, as we mentioned above, is rooted in lust. These Jews are trying to discredit rabbis and Jewish leaders to “free themselves” of any of the obstacles that are preventing them from pursuing their wayward desires. 

When such a person learns that the rabbi rules that something is forbidden, he ridicules the rabbi, challenging his legitimacy. And he does so to be able to dismiss the rabbi’s rulings and guidance; allowing him to ignore the rabbi and pursue his desires guilt-free. 

The Yetzer Harah wants you to justify your actions and to fulfill your wayward desires. Therefore, he convinces you to look for every possible flaw in the Jewish leaders, the Rebbes, the scholars, and the Rosh HaYeshivot. He wants you to reach the conclusion that there are no true tzaddikim and Gedolim in our generation. Therefore, there is no one worth listening to for guidance. 

When a person starts down this path, despair inevitably follows and his Yiddishkeit becomes stale. He blames all his shortcomings on the leaders of the generation. This mentality can eventually cause someone to abandon Yiddishkeit altogether, especially children who grow up in such an environment. 


The Children Are Listening 

A Torah scholar once asked R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: Why I am struggling to educate my children to remain committed to the Just Path while my neighbor, who is uneducated, has successfully raised children who are wholesome and good? 

R’ Shlomo Zalman knew these two families well and he responded, “At your Shabbos table, you speak ill of the rabbis and teachers. When your children hear that, they think that there is no value in learning Torah or listening to the rabbis. And, because of that, they left Yiddishkeit. Your neighbor, on the other hand, honors and demonstrates reverence for Torah scholars and rabbis. His children learned to respect rabbis and teachers. And they aspire to follow in their footsteps.” 


No Cure

The Gemara taught (Shabbos 119b) that Yerushalayim was only destroyed because people were disrespecting rabbis, as it says (Divrei HaYamim II 36:16), “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words and scoffed His prophets, until the Lord’s wrath ascended upon His people beyond remedy“. What does the pasuk mean that they were “beyond remedy”? R’ Yehuda explained that “anyone who disparages Torah scholars cannot be healed from his wound”. 

The seforim explain, that if someone doesn’t value and honor Torah scholars, he will never listen to their guidance when they see something flawed in his behavior. As a result, he can never remedy his own flaws. 

The Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because the Jews were not listening to the mussar and the guidance from the prophets. Therefore, they never changed their behaviors or worked on their flaws. 

This also explains R’ Yehuda’s words that “he cannot be healed from his wound.” This refers to the wounds and the sickness in his soul. His ridicule of Torah scholars prevents him from listening to their mussar. Without listening to the rabbis, they can never “heal” their spiritual wounds. 


Honor Can Lead to Life 

This can also lead someone to becoming a complete heretic denying the Torah and fundamentals of emunah, faith. 

The Rambam wrote (Hilchos Tumas Tzaaras 16:10): “This is the path followed by the gathering of wicked… they come to speak negatively of the righteous… they will become accustomed to speaking against the prophets and casting aspersions on their words… And this would lead them to deny God’s existence entirely… ” 

Pirkei Avot teaches (1:16) that you should “assume for yourself a master; stay away from doubt…” Meaning, once you have a rabbi that you decided to follow, you need to remove anything that would cause you to doubt his validity. The Yetzer Harah will try and make you curious when you hear slanderous conversations about the rabbi. If the Yezter Harah succeeds even one time to arouse doubts about your rabbi, those doubts can eventually persuade you to completely abandon your rabbi. 

Now we can understand our pasuk: The leaders of the generation are referred to here as “the sacred of the children of Israel… ” The Torah warns us not to “profane” them; to disgrace their honor with ridicule and mockery. 

If you honor the Torah scholars and the rabbis, you “shall not die.” We know that the wicked are referred to as corpses even while they are alive. By listening to and respecting the rabbis, you will not only avoid following down the path of the wicked (the corpses), but you will also be like the tzaddikim that are referred to as the living even while they are dead for, they are alive in the Gan Eden Above. 



The Kalever Rebbe is the seventh Rebbe of the Kaalov Chasidic dynasty, begun by his ancestor who was born to his previously childless parents after receiving a blessing from the Baal Shem Tov zy”a, and later learned under the Maggid of Mezeritch zt”l. The Rebbe has been involved in outreach for more than 30 years and writes weekly emails on understanding current issues through the Torah. Sign up at  

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