middot righteousness riverton mussar
riverton mussar

riverton mussar

Sunday, 22 July 2012 11:32



"Merciful God, merciful God, powerful God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness and truth. Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations, forgiver of iniquity, willful sin and error, and Who cleanses."  — Exodus 34:6-7

Rabbi Shimon taught: There are three crowns:  The crown of Torah, the crown of Priesthood, and the crown of Royalty.  The crown of a good name surpasses them all."  — Avot 4:17

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 much and do not even a little.”  — Avot 13:3

"Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give."  —Proverbs 25:14

Nittai, of Arbel, taught: "Keep far from an evil neighbor, be not a partner with an evil person..."  — Avot 1:7

"The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be—and when they’re not, we cry." — Jewish proverb

"Trust, but verify." — Russian proverb

"It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?" — C.S. Lewis

"The wild things of this earth are not ours to do with as we please. They have been given to us in trust, and we must account for them to the generation which will come after us and audit our accounts." — William T. Hornaday

"Trust is the feeling that makes one man believe in another." — Henry Louis Menchen


Thursday, 05 July 2012 22:04



"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 I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." --Devarim 6:4-9

"And how can you achieve such concentration? By recognizing that everything you do is important to God, and is one vital piece of the larger picture of your life." — Menachem Mendel Schneerson

"Peace can also be reached through concentration upon that which is dearest to the heart." — Patanjali

"Discipline and concentration are a matter of being interested." — Tom Kite

"By practicing concentration the mind can be made stable. A stable mind helps in taking right decisions and achieving the desired result." — Rig Veda

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ "— Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal." — E. Joseph Cossman

"All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas, layin’ in the sun talkin’ ‘bout the things they Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done… But all those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas all ran away and hid from One Little Did." — Shel Silverstein

Friday, 29 June 2012 13:38

from where? from whom?

art-shabbat-tableRav 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 how the meal is going to be run.

Friday, 29 June 2012 12:54



“"All of Israel is responsible for one another."” —Shavuot 39a

“Rabbi Eliezer says: "Let other people’s dignity be as precious to you as
your own”." —Pirkei Avot 2:15

Rabbi Akiva would say, "Human beings are beloved because they were created in the image of God. It is an even greater love that this was made know to humanity, as it says, 'and in the image of God were people created.'" -Pirkei Avot 3:14

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?" — Rumi

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." — Albert Einstein

"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you." — Leo Tolstoy

"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it." — Andy Rooney

"Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others." — Susan Sontag

"You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down." — Charles Chaplin

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation,  because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." — John Wooden

Friday, 01 June 2012 14:00



"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, so do the needs." — Yiddish proverb

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"  --Hebrews 13:5

 “People where you live," the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one
garden... yet they don’t find what they’re looking for...” “They don’t find it,” I answered. “And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water...” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." — Albert Einstein

"It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it." — Lou Holtz

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." — Leonardo da Vinci

"There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth." — Leo Tolstoy

"Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires."  — Lao Tzu

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." — Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:22

questions to ask yourself

art-questionsUse these questions to evaluate your day:

    1. Are you able to open your heart and trust others easily, or are you cynical?
    2. Do past experiences make it impossible for you to trust others who may otherwise be very trustworthy?
    3. Do you trust people too easily? Do you look at a person’s reputation and assess your ability to trust them with reliability?
    4. Are there areas in your life where you can improve so that you may become more trustworthy and relied upon by others?
    5. Do you have a shem tov (a good name)? Does this allow others to trust you? If not, what could you do to improve this?
    6. What characteristics make you trustworthy? Seek to improve on one of those traits.
    7. Do you have anyone who can vouch for your trustworthiness? Does your reputation proceed you and people give you responsibilities frequently? If not, why not?
      Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:17

      questions to ask yourself

      art-questionsUse these questions to evaluate your day:

        1. Are you able to focus on your Creator daily in such a way that prayer is effortless? If not, why?
        2. Are you easily distracted? Or do you ignore others when you are doing something that seems important
          to you? Where is your balance of concentration?
        3. Do you focus your mind energy to complete a task, or are you easily distracted and take long periods of
          time to complete something?
        4. Do you strive to finish things and finish them well for the sake of Heaven?
        5. Are you able to create long-term goals and stick to them, or do you give up easily when there are obstacles?
        6. Do you make time for meditation? If not, is it because you have difficulty concentrating?
        7. Are you able to concentrate on what is around you and see more deeply into matters? Are you involved
          in superficial tasks and reading so that you never reach deeper levels of understanding?
          Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:14

          questions to ask yourself

          art-questionsUse these questions to evaluate your day:

            1. Are you aware of how your actions and behavior affect others?
            2. Are you aware of your weaknesses in certain middot and working actively to strengthen yourself?
            3. Are you current on world and local events and how you can engage yourself?
            4. Do your struggles come from being unaware of your behavior or do they just come from nowhere? Do you have any role in causing them and if so what is your role?
            5. Is there a character trait you are not aware of that causes you to have many struggles in life? Are you
              aware of how Hashem or others are working with you to overcome this trait? Do you allow yourself
              to be molded?
            6. Do you isolate yourself in your own bubble and remain out of touch with the needs of family and friends? How can you engage more?
            7. How aware are you of your effect on others? How can you make your effect more positive?
              Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:09

              questions to ask yourself

              art-questionsUse these questions to evaluate your day:

                1. Is there an area in your life (home, routine, possessions) where you struggle with simplicity?
                2. Do you have more than you need (food, home, possessions)? Why and how can you curb this?
                3. Is there a way that you simplified your life today? Are you happier with the simplicity? Did it bring a
                  sense of freedom?
                4. Do you overcomplicate your life with excess? What is this excess? Sometimes the simplest solutions are like lighting a candle to remove darkness and chaos…what simple candle could you light to
                  overcome your ‘darkness’?
                5. Do you find it difficult to be because of all the stumbling blocks you set in your path? Do you have simple goals?
                6. Do you have time-out moments where you can read a book or take a simple walk without technology?
                7. Examine your home. What in your home helps you to exist and what bogs you down?
                  Thursday, 10 May 2012 15:20



                  "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 be measured to you."-- Mashiach Yeshua, Luke 6:38, DHE

                  Hillel stated: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah. The rest is the explanation; go and learn."

                  "Therefore, a man should take care to be generous according to his means, to be magnanimous where magnanimity is called for…weighing all in the scales of Torah." -- The Ways of the Tzaddikim, The Gate of Miserliness, page 323

                  "True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar, it comes to see that
                  an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." — Martin Luther King, Jr.

                  "I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness." — Mother Theresa

                  "Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It’s the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too."
                  — Frederick Buechner

                  "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

                  "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." — Dalai Lama XIV

                  "Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty." — Albert Einstein

                  Page 1 of 7

                  this week

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                  chesed and truth
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                  chesed and forgiveness
                  In his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi . . .
                  how the world stands
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                  His chesed is always there!
                  One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our ki . . .
                  do a chesed
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                  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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