middot humility Displaying items by tag: humility
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 23:15

your Honor...

art-judgeToday was no ordinary day.  It was my mitigation hearing for speeding in a school zone.  Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Really?  Well, given it was a construction zone, poor sign placement, not normal hours for speed reduction, not having traveled down the road except for 2 times, I had my reasons. I had some shpilkes concerning the hearing, mostly because I am not a lawless person and don't desire hearings or an appearance before a judge.  But some things need to be done to help others in the community.

Published in daily living
Saturday, 17 December 2011 00:00

be not quick to speak

art-corporateladderNot only was Rabbi Israel [Salanter] opposed to the performance of the finer points of mitzvot at the expense of human beings, he held that one had no right even to perform the essentials of a mitzvah or even extricate himself from grievous sin if he thereby inflicted suffering on someone else.

A question was submitted to him: Someone had sinned in secret against a friend of his by speaking evil of him. Was it permissible for this person now to go to his friend and seek forgiveness? In so doing, however, he would have to disclose what he had said to the friend he had maligned.

Rabbi Israel [Salanter] ruled, that although the questioner would absolve himself from grievous guilt by seeking his friends forgiveness, he had no right to pursue his own good by hurting his friend - enhancing his righteousness at the expense of causing distress to someone else. This is the extent to which R. Israel took the feelings of others into account, how he engaged in complicated calculations so as to avoid giving any hurt or distress to others.  -- The Mussar Movement, Volume 1, Part 2 pages 229 - 230

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