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Thursday, 10 February 2011 23:29

righteousness

Memory Verse: What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. -- Rabbi Hillel

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quotes

Rabbi Judah the Prince said: "Which is the right course that a man should choose for himself? That which is an honor to him and elicits honor from his fellow men." --Avot 2:1 Rab...
daily living
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torah

This week’s parasha is a source for many liturgical texts within the Jewish tradition such as Ve’ahavta (Deuteronomy 6:5–9), Ki HaShem Hu HaEloqim (Deuteronomy ...

besorah

The other day in the elevator, I learned something about righteousness. ...

mesorah

The rabbis of the Talmud discuss the 613 precepts of Torah and how the prophets sought to distill them into just a few principles. David, in Psalm 15, lists eleven; Isaiah reduces t...

stories

Rabbi Yisrael was once stranded in Kovno for Shabbat. Everyone wanted to host him, but he chose to spend the Shabbat at the home of a baker who had no children to feed, so he would...

meditation

The Hebrew word for righteousness is tzedek.  Tzedek is almost impossible to translate, because of its many shadings of meaning: justice, charity, righteousness, integrity, equ...
accounting

Use these questions to evaluate your day: What were the "seeds" that hindered your ability to manifest righteousness today? Did a good deed you tried to perform today lift up ...
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Monday, 31 January 2011 07:01

the honored guest

art-welcomein the little shtetl of vaysechvoos

All were astir; the Gaon of Vilna was coming to Vaysechvoos! He would be staying in their modest village for one night on his way to Minsk.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 18:44

the littlest member

art-whisper“Come, my children, listen to me, and I will teach you to fear Hashem. Who is the man who desires life, to love each day and see only goodness in them? Let him then guard his tongue from speaking evil and his lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do what is good, desire peace and pursue it.” — Psalm 34

Thursday, 18 November 2010 18:21

Yossele the holy miser

art-poorOnce a very rich man, Yossele, was considered a stingy, mean miser.  Everyone was sure that he shared his wealth with no one, never gave to anyone – ever.  Everyone in the ghetto where he lived knew how much he had and how he hoarded it, and everyone judged him for not doing something to help the suffering and need of the women and children and the elderly.  But he never made public donations...

Thursday, 07 October 2010 23:53

from the mussar masters

art-pearls

“Silence is a protective fence for wisdom.”Avot 3:17

“And you shall honor it [Shabbat] by abstaining from your affairs, by refraining from your wants, and by not engaging in [prohibited] speech.” —Isaiah 58:13

Rabbi Shammai said: “Say little and do much, and receive all men with a cheerful countenance.” —Avot 1:15

 “For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence : 'Love your neighbor as yourself'; but if you go on snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, watch out, or you will be destroyed by each other!" Galatians 5:13-15

"By the blessing of the upright, a city is raised up; but the words of the wicked tear it down. He who belittles another lacks good sense, whereas a person of discernment stays silent." Proverbs 11:11-12

"Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing." James 1:26

"Don't speak impulsivelydon't be in a hurry to give voice to your words before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; so let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5 :1-2

“Evil talk (lashon hara) is so grievous a sin because it kills three people: the one who speaks evil, the one who listens to evil talk, and the one who is being slandered.” Talmud, Erechin 15b

“When a person insults someone else, it is his own defects that he is revealing.” Talmud, Kiddushin 70a

“In an abundance of words, offense will not be lacking, but one who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

Thursday, 07 October 2010 00:28

from the mussar masters

art-pearls

For who in the skies can be compared to G-d?  Who is like G-d among the heavenly beings? -- Tehillim 89:7

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  -- Mishlei 11:2

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.  -- Mishlei 16:18

Be lowly in spirit before everyone.  -- Avos 4:10

Wherever you find God's greatness, there you will find His humility -- b. Megilla 31a

The greatest among you shall be to you as a servant. Everyone who lifts himself up will be brought low, but everyone who lowers himself will be lifted up.  --  Matthew 23:11-12, DHE

A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing. -- Albert Einstein

True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. -- Timothy Keller

Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness! -- C. Joybell C.

Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you. -- Andrew Murray

The humble person is open to being corrected, whereas the arrogant is clearly closed to it. Proud people are supremely confident in their own opinions and insights. Filled as they are with their own views, the arrogant lack the capacity to see another view. -- Thomas Dubay

It stands to reason that anyone who learns to live well will die well. The skills are the same: being present in the moment, and humble, and brave, and keeping a sense of humor. -- Victoria Moran

Humility is that freedom from our self which enables us to be in positions in which we have neither recognition nor importance, neither power nor visibility, and even experience deprivation..and knowing that we are not in the center of the universe, not even in the center of our own private universe. -- David F. Wells

Friday, 10 September 2010 23:34

from the mussar masters

art-pearlsA person who has mastered peace of mind has gained everything. --Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, the Alter of Kelm

As long as one lives a life of calmness and tranquility in the service of God, it is clear that he is remote from true service. -- Rabbi Yisrael Salanter

The essence of a person of faith is equanimity. -- Rabbi Bachya ibn Pakuda, Duties of the Heart

A person who has mastered peace of mind has gained everything. -- Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv

Rise above events that are inconsequential - both bad and good for they are not worth disturbing your equanimity. -- Rabbi M.M. Lefin, Cheshbon HaNefesh

Let the honor of your fellow man be as dear to you as your own, and do not be easily moved to anger. --Talmud, Avot 2:15

As long as a man's mind is settled, his intellectual spirit stands guard, spreading its light upon his mind as if it were a torch atop the edifice of his body. -- Rabbi M.M. Lefin, Cheshbon HaNefesh

One of the beloved of God is a person who does not manifest anger. -- Pesachim 113b

Neither sourdough nor honey should be brought on the Altar as an offering to God. -- Leviticus 2:11

Apparently, God does not like anything too sour or too sweet. -- Rabbi of Kotzk

There is no greater illness than despair. -- Rabbi Yisrael Salanter

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -- Thomas Jefferson

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. --Mishlei 12:25

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. --Winston Churchill

If a person's heart is heavy with worry, let him unburden himself to other people. -- Yoma 75a

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. -- Mishlei 16:32

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. -- Mishlei 17:22

Friday, 10 September 2010 22:55

patience

middahEndurance enlightens the mind and soul.

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Patience is a means not only to inner peace but outer peace. It is the ability to endure situations of all kinds and to remain level-headed. Patience out of balance can appear two ways. One extreme displays frustration, rage, and aggravation, while the other extreme displays apathy and indifference. Patience displayed in balance helps relationships and situations through rough spots and promotes healthy growth

Suggested exercises:

  • When you are in a situation and about to lose your temper, recite the memory phrase in your mind before you react.
  • Plan to be early for all appointments this week and bring a book for the wait.
  • When frustrated in traffic, have a favorite song handy for cue-up and enjoy the moment.
  • If you are ready to lose your patience with a person, stop the seeds of impatience and say something kind to that person.

featured articles


We sometimes think of patience as a passive virtue, similar to endurance; the kind of patience that enables us to perform a repetitive task, to get through setbacks and challenges, ...
by rabbi russ resnik in torah
“Be patient, brothers, till the coming of the Lord. And look, the farmer’s waiting for the precious fruit out of the earth. Be patient until it drinks the first and later r...
by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld in besorah
I was recently stuck in line at the car rental counter behind a guy who appeared to have never rented a car before in his life. I’d say he was a classic nudnik, but I don’t t...
by rabbi russ resnik in besorah
You’re supposed to be somewhere.  You didn’t leave on time, or maybe you did.  You didn’t plan for mishaps, or maybe you planned for the worst and thought you were p...
by rebbetzin malkah in daily living
The remarkable yet sad outcome is the punishment of Moses and Aaron: they will not set foot into the land. One can imagine the great sadness they felt - all their striving for the...
by rebbetzin malkah in torah
Our Rabbis taught: A certain heathen once came before Shammai and asked him, "‘How many Torot have you?" ...
by rebbetzin malkah in mesorah
Talmud - Mas. Shabbath 31a [Our Rabbis taught: A man should always be gentle like Hillel, and not impatient like Shammai.] It once happened that two men made a wager with each...
by rebbetzin malkah in mesorah
The Hebrew word for patience is savlanut, which also means "tolerance." This same Hebrew root also gives rise to words that means "suffer" (sevel) and "burdens" (sivlot). If we equ...
by rebbetzin malkah in meditation

 

accounting


Use these questions to evaluate your day: What were the "seeds" that started to erode your patience today? Think of several good things that happened today.  What was you...

quotes


"Woe to the pampered one who has never been trained to be patient. Either today or in the future he is destined to sip from the cup of affliction."  -- Rabbi M. M. Leffin, Ches...

 

more articles

daily living


Patience is a learned virtue. When I was very young, I didn’t have any patience. I wanted everything, and wanted it NOW! As life went on, I learned patience through resignation...
Last week I had the privilege of experiencing the removal of all four wisdom teeth and one extra tooth that had grown behind one of my top front teeth. The entire experience has bee...
I’ve heard Patience defined, not as the ability to wait, but as the ability to wait with a good attitude. Patience is a wonderful thing, but no one wants to have it for themselves...
You’re supposed to be somewhere.  You didn’t leave on time, or maybe you did.  You didn’t plan for mishaps, or maybe you planned for the worst and thought you were p...

torah


We sometimes think of patience as a passive virtue, similar to endurance; the kind of patience that enables us to perform a repetitive task, to get through setbacks and challenges, ...
When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them; but he acted like a stranger toward them . . . (Gen. 42:7). Of all the themes that run through the story of Joseph and his brother...
Most civilizations have been cultures of the eye. Judaism, with its belief in the invisible God who transcends the universe, and its prohibition against visual representations of Go...
We most often think of patience or savlanut as the capacity to deal with frustrating delays or obstacles that interfere with our plans or objectives. ...
Most of us have heard it said, at one point or another, “all good things come to those who wait.” We have also probably heard, “you can’t always get what you want.”&n...
My granddaughter Orli recently joined a Little League team for special needs kids and I went to the opening game. When her team got up to bat, most of the kids used a batting tee, b...
The remarkable yet sad outcome is the punishment of Moses and Aaron: they will not set foot into the land. One can imagine the great sadness they felt - all their striving for the...

besorah


You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? -- Matt. 17:17a A good friend recently described me in public as ...
I think I’m a pretty patient guy, but I saw something this week that put my patience to shame. ...
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Shimon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. (Luke 2:25) ...
Though the fig tree may not blossom,Nor fruit be on the vines;Though the labor of the olive may fail,And the fields yield no food;Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,And...
“Be patient, brothers, till the coming of the Lord. And look, the farmer’s waiting for the precious fruit out of the earth. Be patient until it drinks the first and later r...
I was recently stuck in line at the car rental counter behind a guy who appeared to have never rented a car before in his life. I’d say he was a classic nudnik, but I don’t t...

mesorah


Rav Kook understands savlanut in terms more closely related to what we would call “tolerance.” More often than not, religious people are faulted for their lack of tolerance...
Our patience is tested the most when we encounter life circumstances that alter our vision of how the world around us should look. These circumstances most often come in the ...
Our Rabbis taught: A certain heathen once came before Shammai and asked him, "‘How many Torot have you?" ...
Talmud - Mas. Shabbath 31a [Our Rabbis taught: A man should always be gentle like Hillel, and not impatient like Shammai.] It once happened that two men made a wager with each...

meditation


The Hebrew word for patience is savlanut, which also means "tolerance." This same Hebrew root also gives rise to words that means "suffer" (sevel) and "burdens" (sivlot). If we equ...

stories


There was a great and mighty king who had many peasants working for him in his kingdom. One of the peasants rebelled against the king and would not listen to his laws. When the ...

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Friday, 03 September 2010 22:31

daily practice

daily-stairway
  • in the morning...

  • meditate  - on the middah for the week
  • repeat - the memory verse of the week
  • be aware - of behaviors during the day, moments that elucidate middot work
  • in the evening...

  • journal - positive or negative moments related to the weekly middah
  • account -by filling in your daily or chesbon hanefesh chart
Friday, 03 September 2010 22:19

weekly practice

daily-walking
  • during the week...

  • gather - once or twice with your chevruta (partner) for study
  • repeat - the memory verse of the week
  • be aware - of behaviors during the day, moments that elucidate middot work
  • after sundown on saturday night...

  • finish - journal entries for friday and saturday and score yourself in your charts
  • assess - your scores in your journal charts by tallying them and reflecting on the results
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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
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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