Malkah Forbes, born in Upstate New York, studied Computer Science at SUNY Oswego (B.A.), where she met her future husband, Jason. Soon after, they moved to the Seattle area where her husband could pursue his career in software engineering. In tandem, Jason was studying to become a rabbi. After Jason received his smicha (rabbinic ordination) from the UMJC, both he and Malkah became leaders of their current congregation, Beit HaShofar Synagogue in Seattle, WA. Currently, Malkah is an active rebbetzin and not only teaches Hebrew, but helps to oversee and spearhead new synagogue programs. Her latest project includes Riverton Mussar, which she and her husband co-founded in 2010. She has been a frequent contributor of drashes for the UMJC website, served on the board of the UMJC National Sisterhood, Achot, and has been a speaker for various sessions at the UMJC International Conference.
When Malkah is not writing for Riverton Mussar, she can be found enjoying her three teenagers, her two delightful cats, working on her interior and garden redesign business, knitting, and sporting a serious game of Mah Jongg.
On another occasion, Rabbi Israel [Salanter] encountered an orphan boy wandering about and not going to school. When he asked the charity wardens why they did not see to defraying the costs of that orphan’s studies, they evaded the question with various excuses. Rabbi Israel responded to them with the cry: “One may sell Torah scrolls in order to pay the cost of study!” --Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement: Seeking the Torah of Truth, Immanuel Etkes, p. 168
The Hebrew word for loving-kindness is chesed.
Sh'vil HaZahav שְבִיל הַזָהַב, the golden middle or mean path, is the Hebrew concept of moderation. And a famous quote to help us with this middah is:
"Keep a mid course between two extremes." – Ovid (43 BCE–18 CE), Roman poet
"It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep." -- Mishlei 25:27
Once upon a time, a father and a son went to sell their old horse in the market. While they were on their way to the market, a group of people commented, “We have never seen such idiots in our life. In spite of having a horse, you are walking!” They both thought about it and sat on the horse.
Another group of people came and said, “How cruel you are! You both are sitting on this poor old horse. Have some mercy on it.” They both thought about it, and the son sat on it while the father started walking.
Again, another group came across and said to the son, “What kind of young lad are you? You are enjoying a ride on this horse, while your old father has to walk in this hot weather.” The son started walking and made his father sit on the horse.
Another group came across and said to the father, “What kind of father are you? Your little son is walking and you are enjoying yourself on this horse.” Both father and son became so upset that they carried the horse on their shoulders. Then all the people started laughing at them. Finally, they got rid of that horse by throwing it into a river.
"An increase of flexibility in the mind and the heart is a gift that benefits all who come in contact with us." -- Hart Lazer in introduction to Aleph Bet Yoga by Steven A. Rapp
Soon after this R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon entered [the Beit Hamidrash] and expounded thus, "A man should always be gentle as the reed and let him never be unyielding as the cedar. And for this reason the reed merited that of it should be made a pen for the writing of the Law, Phylacteries and Mezzuzot." -- Taanit 20b
Today 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.