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riverton mussar

riverton mussar

Thursday, 10 May 2012 01:01

questions to ask yourself

art-questionsUse these questions to evaluate your day:

    1. What were the seeds that started to erode your compassion today? Judgmentalism? Apathy?
    2. Did you encounter anyone today who needed compassion?  What was your response?
    3. Do you frequently judge people before you know their situation?
    4. If you were on the verge of being apathetic to someone’s situation, what did you employ that
      brought you into their reality and helped you to have compassion?
    5. Were you able to use prayer or meditation to increase your compassion for someone or a situation
      today?
    6. Do you often let the news harden you so that you lack compassion? What measures could you take
      to prevent this from happening so you can be actively practicing compassion?
    7. Are you compassionate to a fault, or are slow to compassion?
      Monday, 30 April 2012 00:42

      trustworthiness

      Others will rely on you when you come through on a daily basis.

      Trustworthiness is a noble trait. When others can rely upon us for either counsel, to guard a secret, manage resources, or to be there in a pinch, our relationships are foundationally stronger and more meaningful.

      quotes
      
      "Merciful God, merciful God, powerful God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness and truth. Preserver of kindness for thousands of generati...
      daily living
      
      When I was a kid, I joined the Boy Scouts.  One of the first things you learn in the Boy Scout Creed, is that a scout is Trustworthy.  Like most kids, it was just somethin...
      One of God’s greatest gifts to humanity is free will. That gift produces the opportunity to be creative, thoughtful, decisive, curious, and more. With free will we are given the p...
      torah
      
      You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people. --  Lev 19:16 A talebearer reveals secrets, "But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter" (Prov 11:13) ...
      besorah
      
      The connection between trustworthiness and honesty would appear to be fairly simple. An individual who has regularly demonstrated honesty is usually trustworthy. However, this is no...
      mesorah
      
      Shammai taught: "Say little and do much." — Avot 1:15 Rabbi Natan said, “What does this mean? It teaches that the righteous say little and do much, whereas the wicked say muc...
      stories
      
      Rabbi Israel Salanter was in a hotel once, and the person in charge, a Jewish fellow, asked the rabbi, not knowing who he was, if he knew how to do shechita, (how to properly slau...
      meditation
      
      The Hebrew word for trustworthy is ameen. It comes from the root meaning faithful. When we consider what it means to be trustworthy, it is really a component of faithfulness.  ...
      accounting
      
      Use these questions to evaluate your day: Are you able to open your heart and trust others easily, or are you cynical? Do past experiences make it impossible for you to trust ot...
      podcasts

      (Login for access to podcasts)

      Monday, 30 April 2012 00:39

      concentration

      middahFocus on each task with intensity as if it were a work of art.

      Concentration is a state of mind mastery where one can take a task or a moment and be immersed and involved in it without distraction. Concentration does not ignore others; rather, it is intense focus to achieve solutions, ideas, and finished products in the midst of daily life. Concentration is vital for our work, projects, aspirations, and the growth of our own souls.

      stop-infections.net

      Suggested practices:

      • Turn your phone off and or tablet/computer for 1 hour while doing a task to avoid distraction and to fully invest yourself.
      • Commit to one day of technology free (phone, radio, television, computer, tablet) living in order to concentrate on spiritual, home, or other matters/tasks.
      • Find something you have been avoiding doing and see it through to completion. Be fully engaged with whatever this is in all manner of detail

      featured articles

      
      Rabbi Yaakov said, one who is walking along the road and is studying [Torah], and then interrupts his studies and says, 'How beautiful is this tree! How beautiful is this plowed fie...
      by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in mesorah
      An ancient Indian sage was teaching his disciples the art of archery. He put a wooden bird as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first disciple was aske...
      by rebbetzin malkah in stories
      If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do. – Lucille Ball ...
      by rav rafael in torah
      Rabban Gamliel said, "All my days have I grown up among the wise and I have not found anything better for a man (literally, “better for the body”) than silence."  --Pirke...
      by rebbetzin malkah in mesorah
      Father in heaven! What is a man without Thee! What is all that he knows, vast accumulation though it be, but a chipped fragment if he does not know Thee! What is all his striving, c...
      by rabbi russ resnik in besorah
      The pious ones of earlier generations spent an hour in contemplation before the beginning of their prayers, and one hour after. --Tractate Berachot, 30b ...
      by rebbetzin malkah in meditation
      One of my favorite movies is an Alfred Hitchcock film titled, “The Trouble With Harry.” This film was his only comedy (though humor played a role in some of his other films and ...
      by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in daily living

       

      accounting

      
      Use these questions to evaluate your day: Are you able to focus on your Creator daily in such a way that prayer is effortless? If not, why? Are you easily distracted? Or do you ...

      quotes

      
      "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which ...

       

      more articles

      daily living

      
      One of my favorite movies is an Alfred Hitchcock film titled, “The Trouble With Harry.” This film was his only comedy (though humor played a role in some of his other films and ...

      torah

      
      If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do. – Lucille Ball ...

      besorah

      
      Father in heaven! What is a man without Thee! What is all that he knows, vast accumulation though it be, but a chipped fragment if he does not know Thee! What is all his striving, c...

      mesorah

      
      Rabbi Yaakov said, one who is walking along the road and is studying [Torah], and then interrupts his studies and says, 'How beautiful is this tree! How beautiful is this plowed fie...
      Rabban Gamliel said, "All my days have I grown up among the wise and I have not found anything better for a man (literally, “better for the body”) than silence."  --Pirke...

      meditation

      
      The pious ones of earlier generations spent an hour in contemplation before the beginning of their prayers, and one hour after. --Tractate Berachot, 30b ...

      stories

      
      An ancient Indian sage was teaching his disciples the art of archery. He put a wooden bird as the target and asked them to aim at the eye of the bird. The first disciple was aske...

      Monday, 30 April 2012 00:36

      awareness

      middahOpen eyes, open ears, open mind, open heart.

      Awareness is seeing and knowing what is happening in your locale, the world, and within yourself. It is a constant state of being connected to humanity, your soul and Hashem. Awareness breeds concern and helps to refine the other middot.

      http://thebestasthmaremedies.com

      Suggested practices:

      • Try and notice 3 new things on your daily commute (sign, tree, house, etc…) that you haven’t noticed before.
      • Become aware of your breathing when you are driving or performing tasks. Do you tend to hold your breath? Practice active awareness with your breath this week, being conscious of full breaths.
      • Find a way to engage in a local event that you normally don’t attend so you can become more aware of your local community.

      featured articles

      
      The 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 cour...
      by rabbi russ resnik in daily living
      To complete nearly any task necessitates a fair amount of awareness. To play a game one needs to be aware of its rules. To walk across the street unharmed one must be aware of the t...
      by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in meditation
      There’s never a dull moment around our house. As I’ve been preparing to write an article about the middah of awareness, my wife has found two stray ladybugs in our kitchen. She ...
      by rav rafael in torah
      And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like ...
      by rabbi russ resnik in besorah
      Rav Yisrael Salanter zt”l was once invited by one of his talmidim (disciples) to the Friday night Shabbat meal. He told his talmid that he does not eat out without first knowing h...
      by riverton mussar in stories
      The books of Martin Buber, and especially his seminal work "I-and-Thou", allow us, it seems to me, to distinguish with better precision between Olam Haze and Olam Haba, using crit...
      by rebbetzin malkah in mesorah
      The Hebrew for awareness is mudaut. Living on the third rock from the sun, we are very aware what would happen if we were closer to the sun or further away.  Life is not supp...
      by rebbetzin malkah in meditation
      The 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...
      by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in daily living

       

      accounting

      
      Use these questions to evaluate your day: Are you aware of how your actions and behavior affect others? Are you aware of your weaknesses in certain middot and working actively t...

      quotes

      
      “"All of Israel is responsible for one another."” —Shavuot 39a “Rabbi Eliezer says: "Let other people’s dignity be as precious to you asyour own”." —Pirkei Avot 2:15 Ra...

       

      more articles

      daily living

      
      The 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 cour...
      The 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...

      torah

      
      There’s never a dull moment around our house. As I’ve been preparing to write an article about the middah of awareness, my wife has found two stray ladybugs in our kitchen. She ...

      besorah

      
      And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like ...

      mesorah

      
      The books of Martin Buber, and especially his seminal work "I-and-Thou", allow us, it seems to me, to distinguish with better precision between Olam Haze and Olam Haba, using crit...

      meditation

      
      To complete nearly any task necessitates a fair amount of awareness. To play a game one needs to be aware of its rules. To walk across the street unharmed one must be aware of the t...
      The Hebrew for awareness is mudaut. Living on the third rock from the sun, we are very aware what would happen if we were closer to the sun or further away.  Life is not supp...

      stories

      
      Rav Yisrael Salanter zt”l was once invited by one of his talmidim (disciples) to the Friday night Shabbat meal. He told his talmid that he does not eat out without first knowing h...

      Monday, 30 April 2012 00:30

      simplicity

      middahIn simplicity is there a richness of life.

      Simplicity is assessing what is necessary in life and what is excessive. By slimming down our appetites, possessions, and our desires, we can begin to experience the riches of a simple life.

      featured articles

      No articles to show

       

      accounting

      
      Use these questions to evaluate your day: Is there an area in your life (home, routine, possessions) where you struggle with simplicity? Do you have more than you need (food, ho...

      quotes

      
      "Who is rich? He who is happy with what he has." -- Avot 4:1, Ben Zoma "Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."  --Matthew 5:8 "As the wallet grows...

       

      more articles

      daily living

      
      The first time I ever needed to type out an outline for a school project included what could be considered one of the biggest, “duh,” moments of my life. ...
      My dad was a blue-collar worker.  Having a handicap, he was not able to pursue the academic dreams he had as a young man.  He delivered newspapers for the New York Post. &...
      During my senior year of high school, in preparation for my freshman year at the Berklee College of Music, I decided it was going to be very important for me to appreciate more comp...

      torah

      
      Could it be that we sometimes complicate our lives to avoid the simple, life-changing — and scary — encounter with the living God? ...
      Around our home, Jewish holidays are elaborate affairs. While I tend to be focused on the ritual and teaching aspects of the holidays, I observe that each time they come around my w...

      besorah

      
      During the month of Elul and throughout the Days of Awe, our tradition recommends reading Psalm 27 twice each day. In this Psalm, David stirs us up to hope, courage, bold confidence...
      Then they brought him children so he could place his hands upon them and pray, but his talmidim reprimanded them. Yeshua said, “Permit the children and do not withhold them from c...
      Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. --Matthew 5:8 I yearn for simplicity, but life insists on complicating itself. ...

      mesorah

      
      Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot.  --Avot 4:1 ...

      meditation

      
      I can recall our second trip to Israel as a family, when our three children were 8, 6, and 6 respectively.  We rented an apartment in Yemin Moshe for a week and soaked in Jer...

      stories

      
      Rabbi Salanter once noticed that a fancy restaurant was charging a huge price for a cup of coffee. He approached the owner and asked why the coffee was so expensive. After all, ...

      Monday, 30 April 2012 00:23

      compassion

      middahOpening one’s heart is a daily exercise.

      http://healthywomenlifestyle.net/tamoxifen http://healthywomenlifestyle.net

      Compassion is the ability to emotionally relate to a condition of either a person or group and to respond with kindness and concern. Humanity survives because of the compassion which Hashem shows to us as well as the compassion which we give to one another. It is not judgmental, it does not point fingers.  It seeks to raise another person’s soul and make life easier to bear.

      featured articles

      No articles to show

       

      accounting

      
      Use these questions to evaluate your day: What were the seeds that started to erode your compassion today? Judgmentalism? Apathy? Did you encounter anyone today who needed compa...

      quotes

      
      "Give, and it will be given to you; they will return to your lap a beautiful measure pressed, crammed full and overflowing. For with the measure that you use to measure, it will...

       

      more articles

      daily living

      
      For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all its ruins, and He will make its desert like a paradise and its wasteland like the garden of the Lord; joy and happiness shall be ...
      Compassion is one of the most important of character traits, yet its an attribute that comes from learning, mostly in the school of hard knocks. People who have compassion reflect...
      I may be naïve, but I really do believe compassion comes naturally to most people at a core level. ...

      torah

      
      A number of years ago, while taking a leisurely walk with my wife and in-laws, we happened upon a very understated and unpublicized public demonstration. ...

      besorah

      
      One of the high points of the traditional morning prayers comes right at the beginning. As the worshiper concludes putting on the tefillin, he wraps the leather strap around the mid...
      Our chavurah is reading together through Luke in the Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels, and this week we came to this verse: “Therefore, be compassionate just as your Father...

      mesorah

      
      Many know of the mitzvah of giving charity and of its reward, but not of the greatness of the mitzvah of words.  Have our Rabbis not said (Bavra Basra 9b):  "One who gives...

      meditation

      
      The Hebrew word for compassion is rachamim.   ...

      stories

      
      Rav Yisrael Salanter was a leading 19th century sage who founded the Mussar movement which was dedicated to the study and renewal of ...

      Thursday, 15 December 2011 01:14

      thoughtful giving

      art-tzedakah2(Below are excerpts from Chapter 4 of Shmoneh Prakim by Rambam regarding generosity.) 

      Similar is generosity, which is the middle between stinginess and wasteful extravagance.

      Thursday, 03 November 2011 03:46

      questions to ask yourself

      Use these questions to evaluate your day:

                1. What were the seeds that affected your responsibility in various arenas today?
                2. Did a you shirk away from a responsibility today and if so why?
                3. Do you have too many responsibilities? Do you need to spread out your load?
                4. Do you feel resentful, burdened, overwhelmed or content with your current responsibilities?
                5. Do you have more responsibility than you can handle simply because you feel you can do the job better?
                6. Do responsibilities bring stress or purpose to you?
                7. How can you be more responsible tomorrow?
                          Thursday, 03 November 2011 03:41

                          quotes

                          Rabbi Tarfon said: "The day is short, the task is great, the laborers are lazy, the wage is abundant and the master is urgent." -- Avot 2:20

                          He [Rabbi Tarfon]used to say: "It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it." -- Avot 2:21

                          Rabbi Akiva said: "All is foreseen, but freedom of choice is given. The world is judged in goodness, yet all is proportioned to one's work." --  Avot 3:19

                          Rabbi Elazar of Bartota said: "Render to Him that which is his, for you and all that you have are His, as David said (I Chronicles 29:14): 'For all things come from You, and of Your own have we given you.' " -- Avot 3:8

                          He [Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa] used to say: "He whose works exceed his wisdom, his wisdom endures; but he whose wisdom exceeds his works, his wisdom will not endure." -- Avot 3:12

                          Ben Azzai said: "Be eager to fulfill the smallest duty and flee from transgression; for one duty induces another and one transgression induces another transgression." -- Avot 4:2

                          "Hashem praises a poor person who triumphs over his Evil Nature and returns an object." -- Pesachim 113a

                          "It's a question of discipline," the little prince told me later on. "When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French by Richard Howard

                          "It is impossible for obstacles not to come, but how terrible for the man through whom they come! He would be better to have a millstone hung around his neck and be cast into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble." -- Mashiach Yeshua, Luke 17:2, DHE

                          "If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!" -- Mishlei 24:10

                          What you hate, do not do to your friend. ~ Shabbos 31a

                          Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the LORD. ~ Vayikra 19:18

                          Hillel and Shammai received the Torah from them. Hillel said: Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving your fellow creatures and bringing them close to the Torah. ~ Avot 1:12

                          If you have done your neighbor a little wrong, let it be in your eyes great; if you have done him much good, let it be in your eyes little; if he has done you a little good, let it be in your eyes great; if he has done you a great wrong, let it be in your eyes little.  ~ Avot 1:6, Avot de Rabbi Nathan ch 41

                          He who says, 'What is mine is yours and what is yours is thine own'—he is a saintly man. ~ Avot 5:13

                          A love without rebuke is no real love. ~ Bereishit Rabbah, ch 54, section 3

                          The highest form of wisdom is kindness. ~ Berachot 17a

                          Shimon the Righteous was one of the last survivors of the Great Assembly.  He used to say: 'On three things the world is sustained: on the Torah, on the (Temple) service, and on deeds of loving kindness.'  ~ Avot 1:2

                          The world is built with chesed (loving-kindness).  ~Tehillim 89:3

                          Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9

                           

                           

                          Thursday, 03 November 2011 03:40

                          questions to ask yourself

                          Use these questions to evaluate your day:

                                  1. What were the seeds that hindered your ability to manifest loving-kindness today?
                                  2. Did a good deed you perfomed today lift up someone while lowering someone else, or was this good deed mutually beneficial for all involved?
                                  3. Were your deeds done merely for the sake of Heaven, or for some personal gain?
                                  4. Did you receive honor for doing a deed today? If so, would you have done the deed had it been in private and no honor was attached?
                                  5. Were you able to use prayer or meditation to help you in making the more noble choices you were confronted with today?
                                  6. Do you spend some time during the day thinking about how to help others?
                                  7. Does helping others or doing acts of kindness come naturally? If not, what could you do to make it a more natural practice?
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                                          this week

                                          
                                          Moshe Rabbenu teaches loving-kindness
                                          Here's a drash on loving-kindness adapted from my book Creation to Completion, wh . . .
                                          chesed and truth
                                          For the Torah was given through Moshe; chesed and truth came through Yeshua the M . . .
                                          chesed and forgiveness
                                          In his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi . . .
                                          how the world stands
                                          A woman died and left no money to pay for her funeral. She was an inhabitant of o . . .
                                          His chesed is always there!
                                          One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our ki . . .
                                          do a chesed
                                          There was an older gentleman I used to to interact with fairly regularly at a Ra . . .
                                          bottled up kindness
                                          'The kindnesses of the Lord I shall sing forever; to generation after generation . . .
                                          showering chesed
                                          The Hebrew word for loving-kindness is chesed.    . . .

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