By Five Towns Marriage Initiative

In this parashah the story of the mekallel, the blasphemer, is discussed. A man blasphemed the name of Hashem. Before his punishment was officially decided, he was placed in a jail cell to await his verdict. (Emor 24:12). Rashi explains that the people were careful to put him in a different cell than the man in jail for desecrating Shabbos, the mekoshesh who had been sentenced to death. Sifsei Chachamim explains that since it wasn’t clear what punishment he would receive, they didn’t want to cause unnecessary worry to the mekallel who would assume he was also sentenced to death if he was put in the same cell as the mekoshesh.

The lesson here is a very powerful one. If we are required to have consideration for the feelings of a man who blasphemed the name of Hashem and not cause him worry unnecessarily, how much more so must we be careful to be sensitive to the feelings of our family and friends. Husbands and wives care about each other on a very deep level and they worry about each other in both a physical and emotional sense. There are instances where it is easy for a spouse to diminish some of the worry the other partner feels. One area in which husband and wife often worry about each other is when one is running late. In such a situation, it is so easy to alleviate the worry with a bit of consideration in the form of a phone call or text message. While this is just one example, there are many other examples in which the worry our spouse feels for us can be diminished with a bit of consideration and communication.

We are currently in the days of sefiras haOmer, a time when it is recommended by our Sages that we put extra effort into our bein adam l’chaveiro, our interactions between man and his friend. Let us try during these days of sefirah to learn the lesson from the jailing of the mekallel and be extra careful to take steps to alleviate the worry of our spouse and family who love us and worry about us. v

Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00—11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail

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