Where do we draw the line between healthy tough love and verbal abuse? Was Rav Bina’s approach, perhaps, a misguided one?
I am torn.
My tendency is to empathize with the victims and feel pained by the stories I’ve heard and the experiences that I myself had to endure when things were less-than-sunny in mine and Rav Bina’s interesting relationship. But I trusted him. I did then. I do now.
And this has made all the difference.
Rav Bina’s greatest strength is also what brought this entire saga into fruition. He says it like it is. He’s politically incorrect if he needs to be. He laughs at conventional norms that most of us just accept because we’d rather just go with the flow. Rav Bina is up-front and authentic — perhaps, some may argue, to a fault.
Tough love is not abuse.
It looks like abuse because it pains its recipient.
But egos are only broken through submission, and, sometimes, tough love is the only way to break past the countless defenses that our egos cleverly devise. Many of us could use a bit of ego adjustment. We need to be right-sized, even if it hurts.
I needed it, and I got it.
Today I can appreciate what I then resented.
I got exactly what I paid for. And I’m eternally grateful.
Rav Bina is The Soul’s best friend, and The Ego’s worst enemy. Sometimes we need some shaking in order to awaken. He shook me hard. And I thank him for that. Netiv Aryeh is my home away from home. It is for many of us. And it always will be.