middot diligence quotes from the mussar masters

from the mussar masters

Written by  riverton mussar


On Diligence...

“Act while you can: While you have the chance, the means, and the strength.” – Talmud

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” – Ecclesiastes 9:10

“One who is lax in his work is a brother to the master of destruction.” – Proverbs 18:9

“Through indolence the ceiling will cave in, and through inferior handiwork the house will leak.” –  Ecclesiastes 10:18

“I hastened and I did not delay to keep your mitzvot.” – Tehillim 119:60

Be not lazy but rather diligent, for it says: “Thus said the indolent, 'A lion is on the road, a lion [lies in wait] in the streets.'” – Proverbs 26:13

“Don't have contempt for your ability to do good. You make the effort and God does the rest...” – The Bershider Rebbe

“The work is not yours to complete, and [yet] you are not free to abstain from it.” – Avot 2:16

“A person should always be astute when fearing the Eternal; he must be knowledgeable, capable of deducing one thing from the other, and inventive in ways that will please his Creator through whatever means possible.” – Talmud, Berachot 17a


On Enthusiasm...

"True zeal consists of one's heart being alert, his mind being wakeful, and his limbs being light for the performance of his labor, but not in overhastiness in any matter." -- The Ways of the Tzadikkim, The Gate of Zeal, pg 293

"Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey." -- Bereishit 22:3

"Rabbi Yehudah be Tema said: Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven." -- Avot 5:20

"When a man frees his heart of all other thoughts that reside in it and seizes upon one thought, then he will undoubtedly be zealous in its execution." --The Ways of the Tzadikkim, The Gate of Zeal, pg 283

"You must know that the trait of zeal is the foundation of all the traits, for one cannot constantly be learning. One must eat, drink, sleep , and attend to his other needs." -- The Ways of the Tzadikkim, The Gate of Zeal, pg 285

Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair said: "Zeal leads to cleanliness, cleanliness to separation, separation to purity, purity to holiness, holiness to humility, humility to fear of sin, fear of sin to saintliness, saintliness to the holy spirit, the holy spirit to the revival of the dead, and the revival of the dead to Eliyahu the prophet of blessed memory." -- Yerushalmi Shekalim 3:3, Sotah 49a, Avodah Zarah 20b

"If a poor man comes to your house to ask for bread, do not say, ' I cannot go to bring bread,' but go with zeal to bring it." -- The Ways of the Tzadikkim, The Gate of Zeal, pg 287

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." -- Winston Churchill

"The zealous advance themselves towards the doing of mitzvot." -- The Ways of the Tzadikkim, The Gate of Zeal, pg 285

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom." -- Kohelet 9:10

"Do not say, 'When I will be free I will learn'; maybe you will not be free." -- Avot 2:4





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