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Displaying items by tag: repentance
Displaying items by tag: repentance
Monday, 12 August 2013 20:16

adaptibility and teshuvah

art-wavefieldsI love it that adaptability is included among the middot. If it weren't, we might be tempted to think of mussar as simply a set of rules, and rigid adherence as the way to virtue. We might think of mussar as saying to us, "Just stay within the lines I set and you'll be safe." But, of course, real life provides too many exceptions, dilemmas, and puzzlements to allow for such an approach.

Published in daily living
Monday, 12 August 2013 14:13

adaptibility and teshuvah

I love it that adaptability is included among the middot. If it weren't, we might be tempted to think of mussar as simply a set of rules, and rigid adherence as the way to virtue. We might think of mussar as saying to us, "Just stay within the lines I set and you'll be safe." But, of course, real life provides too many exceptions, dilemmas, and puzzlements to allow for such an approach.

Published in author blog
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 18:39

words as feathers

art-feathersA famous Chasidic story illustrates the extent of the damage that Lashon HaRa can do: A man went about gossiping and telling malicious stories without restraint. Later, when he realized how much his tales had hurt people, and began to feel remorse. He went to the Rabbi seeking repentance, saying he would do anything he could to make amends. The Rabbi told the man, “Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers into the wind.” The man thought this was a bizarre request, but it was simple enough, and so he did it. When he returned to inform the rabbi that the task was done, the Rabbi said, “Now, go and collect all the feathers and return them to the pillow.” Again, the man went to do as the rabbi had asked, but found that the feathers had blown far and wide, and he was unable to retrieve even a handful. He returned to the rabbi, ashamed to admit he was not able to gather the feathers, certain that he should never have released the feathers in the first place. Knowingly, the rabbi rebuked him, saying, “Your words are like the feathers: once they leave your mouth, you know not where they will go, and you can never retrieve them back again. It is always wiser to guard your tongue and keep your words to yourself.”

Published in stories
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 21:13

dry-cleaning for the soul

art-cleanersIt’s strange to say, but unfortunately the spiritual disease of tzara’at does not exist today.  Life might be a little easier if we had a physical barometer of how well our soul is connected to others and to the Divine.  Once we see the physical signs we could get some help, repair, restore, and reconnect.  Today our purity of soul is much more difficult to measure so we must be proactive in it’s care.

Published in besorah

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