middot humility Displaying items by tag: mentoring
Thursday, 10 February 2011 22:07

leniency as a bridge

art-bridgeHis attitude, always to bear in mind the good of the next person, made him adopt a more lenient attitude in all matters of permitted and forbidden things, based on the principle "the power to rule leniently is to be preferred." As has been stated, Rabbi Israel [Salanter] would punctiliously observe all stringencies and comply with all opinions. This applied where he himself alone was involved. Wherever others were concerned, he would always seek the ways and means to rule leniently. This accounts for his many well-known rulings in matters pertaining to health and danger to life,"danger to life being graver than ritual prohibitions."

From here stemmed his audacious granting of permission to perform acts otherwise forbidden on Shabbat and to eat on Yom Kippur during the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in Vilna. And from here stemmed his lenient ruling on his own conduct where others might thereby suffer hardship. Reliable sources indicate that one of the reasons for Rabbi Israel [Salanter] refusing to accept a rabbinical appointment was that he sided with the more lenient opinions in many halachot in opposition to the prevailing stricter rulings of the other authorities, and he was unwilling to stir up objections and arguments. --The Mussar Movement, Volume 1, Part 2 pages 253-54.

Published in besorah
Monday, 01 November 2010 15:13

humility as the seesaw of life

art-seesaw2There is another extremely high level of humility – humbling oneself before one's teachers, before the wise and before the righteous who walk in just paths – thinking to oneself:  These are the servants of the Blessed One, His bondmen and His lovers, and, because of this, lowering himself before them and honoring them.  It is also a good variety of humility if he thinks:  I shall humble myself before them so that they will draw me near and teach me and chastise me and lead me in the ways of the Blessed One. – Rabbi Shraga Silverstein, Orchot Tzadikim, The Gate of Humility

Published in daily living
Tuesday, 14 September 2010 12:27

pleasant with the young


When one is engaged in any act of service, such as giving charity, offering prayer, performing an obligatory or voluntary act, or voicing rebuke, he should not engage in it with any pride or arrogance in his heart.  Rather, he should be humble and lowly before the Creator, both outwardly and inwardly.  [His act] should be as nothing to him, when compared with how much he owes G-d – so much more than this one act!  As it says, "With what shall I come before Hashem, bow low before G-d on high?  Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, with yearling calves?  Would G-d be pleased with thousands of rams?... He has told you, O man, what is good, and what G-d requires of you: only to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk modestly with your G-d."  (Micah 6:6-8)  – Rabbi Bachya ibn Paquda, Duties of the Heart, The Gate of Humility

Published in daily living

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