middot decisiveness daily living
daily living

daily living (2)

Monday, 01 October 2012 08:07

just do it?

Written by rabbi russ resnik

art-justdoThe prophet Jeremiah denounced the men of his generation for their heedlessness. “No one repents of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns away in his course as the horse rushes headlong in the battle” (Jer. 8:6). They were driven on by the force of habit, never stopping to realize what they were doing, until they came to grief. (Luzzatto, The Path of the Upright, chapter II)

We live in an age that praises spontaneity and action, that considers “just doing it”, to paraphrase the Nike ad, a great virtue. But the character change that lies at the heart of Mussar requires awareness of our own behavior and reactions, or what Luzzatto terms “watchfulness.” Instead of going with habit or impulse, we are to be aware and watchful of our behavior.

Friday, 29 June 2012 10:01

routine awareness

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-tefillinThe phrase, “creatures of habit,” is not infrequently used to describe us human beings. This is not surprising given our social/cultural norms and natural makeup. Religious ritual is often seen as a reflection of our habitual nature.

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