Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Kerum" or "Embarrassed to depend on Others"


Talmud Tractate Berachot 6b gives us an interesting insight on people's feeling.

Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Elazar said:
"When a person is dependent on others, the colour of his face changes like that of a KERUM".

What is a Kerum ?
When Rabbi Dimi came to Babylonia from Eretz Israel, he said: 
"There is a certain bird found in cities by the sea that is called a Kerum. And when the sun shines on it, it changes to many colours. Likewise, when a person has to rely on others for the provisions of his needs, his faces changes colour out of embarrassement.

In Judaism it is forbidden to embarrass anyone who owes you money in public. Moreover I would like to take the idea of embarrassment a little further. Just think about your behaviour at work. The boss is yelling at you and sometimes you refrain from justifying yourself or respond because you depend on this job. You are embarrassed and afraid to loose your source of income and thus you keep quiet.

It is strange how such dependencies can change a person's way of behaviour.

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