Advise Carefully

It says in Maseches Sotah 13b that the reason Yosef HaTzaddik died was because he was נוהג עצמו ברבנות, conducted himself in the way of rabbi-ness, literal translation. In this context rabbonus means though to be authoritarian and boss people around, like asking them to bring you things, according to Ben Yehoyada. This sentiment is also echoed in Maseches Brochos 55a. The idea though is not just in regards to authoritarianism, rather that one forces himself upon others as their rabbi even after they’ve decided to not accept him, this shortens a persons life. The Maharsha on the gemoro in Brochos brings that Yosef HaTzaddik certainly didn’t act this way, rather because Yosef HaTzadik was buried in a higher place he was referred to as an authority. He brings there that this is used because otherwise we couldn’t learn out this whole idea to not conduct yourself like an authority and boss people around unless they actually accept you as their rabbi and wish to assist you.

I think we should all bare this in mind when it comes to advising people in different areas: if they don’t want to accept your advice, don’t press the issue. To do so could chas v’sholom shorten one’s days, whether this is due to some metaphysical cause or simply a reaction to getting overly stressed and suffering from that. We should be zoche to arichus yomim and hatzlocho in all things, also to have good rabbonim until Moshiach comes.

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