Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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6
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1answer
251 views

Source for Dubno Maggid's rebuke of the Vilna Gaon?

In a shiur I heard that the Vilna Gaon begged the Dubno Maggid to give him mussar (rebuke) after repeatedly declining the Maggid responded that It is not so difficult to be a Gaon, cloistered in ...
7
votes
1answer
831 views
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Is there really no problem with paying non-Jewish employees less than Jewish employees?

The Times of Israel has a feature on B&H, the Satmar owned camera store. B&H has been successfully sued several times for discriminating against non-Jewish employees, including for paying ...
24
votes
2answers
423 views

Is unmasking an anonymous author addressed by Halacha?

If an individual writes a document for public consumption anonymously or pseudonymously and either explicitly or presumably desires to remain anonymous, is there a Halachic issue with publicly ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition?

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition? If so, what is the source for it? Also, do any of the sages offer any advice for overcoming judging other unfavorably?
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Exact text from Rav Eliyahu Lopian's “Lev Eliyahu” citing a story about the Chofetz Chaim

I read some time ago in Rav Eliyahu Lopian's "Lev Eliyahu" an amazing idea. However, I don't have the book; I'm looking for it online but cannot find it. He brought a story about the Chofetz Chaim: ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
7
votes
2answers
67 views

How to not believe slander

I once heard lashon hara (slander) from someone whom I generally admire, about someone towards whom I had less respect. I was naturally tempted to believe the statement, even though it is forbidden to ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Comprehensive treatments of the prohibition of bribery

I would like to educate myself about the nature and scope of the Biblical prohibition of "bribery" ("Shochad") and any associated Rabbinic prohibitions, as well as any derived ethical principles. I am ...
7
votes
2answers
92 views

Do you have to judge dead people favorably?

In Avot we learn that one should judge all people favorably ("והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות"). I would like to know if that includes the deceased. Meaning, can I look back on the life of a person who is ...
9
votes
1answer
164 views

How to attain patience

Are there any Sifre Musar that give advice on how to become more patient? If so, can you bring a few points on how to do so? Please cite sources.
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Path of the Just - what does שיתברר ויתאמת mean?

The Mesilat Yesharim starts off: יסוד החסידות ושרש העבודה התמימה הוא שיתברר ויתאמת אצל האדם מה חובתו (Translation: The foundation of saintliness and the root of perfection in the service of ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Parameters of Yuhara for women

This question asks about Yuhara - religious haughtiness - in general. In the current answer it discusses issues of one-upmanship on one's Rebbe or local Rabbis being a special concern. How is this ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

How does Jewish Law look upon the concept of Abgefeimt?

Abgefeimt, trying to find a good example, would be like a person who legally engages in something that really sort of underhanded and fraudulent. How does Jewish Law look upon the concept of Abgefeimt?...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Studying mussar and philosophy on tisha b'av

Can one learn mussar on tisha b'av, or how about Kuzari or Moreh Nevuchim? Is it considered to be the study of Torah, which gladdens, or is it, since it is mussar, okay?
2
votes
0answers
147 views

Crying on Shabbos

Is it permissible to cry on Shabbos? What about if it is tears of joy? What are some halachos that pertain to crying (on Shabbos)? For example, can I tell someone something that may make them cry? ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

What is the correct emotion to feel upon hearing about enemy civilian casualties?

Recent missiles sent by Hamas landed in Hebron. When my neighbor told me about this, it was unclear whether they had hurt any Arab civilians. I said that I hoped not, while my neighbor basically said ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Parameters of Yuhara - When should someone be concerned that he's overdoing it?

There are many cases in halakha where one is discouraged from adopting a stringency because it appears to be an expression of 'religious haughtiness' (יוהרא). When should someone be concerned about ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Unethical landlord

Ownership of an apartment building changed hands, and the landlord for the new owner is demanding unusually high additional monthly payments from preexisting tenants for parking privileges that are ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Gneivas daas with fake social media accounts

Many companies (and the US government) create fake social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) accounts in order to make it look like people are talking about their product. I personally know several frum ...
3
votes
3answers
148 views

Source for Rambam on Habit and Character

Where does the Rambam say, "Habit and Character are closely interwoven. Habit (as it were) becomes second Nature"?
2
votes
2answers
148 views

Torah source for celebrating your personal achievements

It seems to have become a popular idea that celebrating achievements, even after successfully realizing a small goal, is important to continue developing and staying motivated. I'm looking for a ...
4
votes
5answers
306 views

Is it written anywhere that one must stand up for what he believes is right?

This may sound like a weird question, but I was wondering if it is written anywhere (Gemarah, Commentators, etc) that one has an obligation to stand up for something he believes is right, continuing ...
2
votes
4answers
219 views

Could a religious man be an anarchist?

Could a religious man be an anarchist? Because by praying you becoming a slave to whatever you pray to. But anarchism (except of some small branches) do not support master-slave relationships. ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

A client of yours finally pays a bill — seven months late. Should you thank him?

You're a freelancer. A client of yours finally pays a bill — seven months late! — via email money transfer. Should you send him a thank-you email? Or should you simply be silent? And why?...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

what induces a person to become more devoted in his religious pursuits?

Looking for some sources as to what induces a person to become more devoted in his service of God. I have read about certain big tzadikim who devoted themselves with extreme mesirut nefesh (efforts) ...
9
votes
4answers
324 views

Is Ferberization okay?

Is there anything objectionable (in terms of halacha, hashkafa and middos) to using the Ferber method for training an infant to fall asleep on its own? There is an element of cruelty, and the ultimate ...
14
votes
3answers
247 views

Do our sources address “strategic loan defaults”?

In the most recent episode of NPR's Planet Money Podcast, they interviewed a real estate lawyer in Arizona who talked about the large numbers of her clients who have been asking for advice about doing ...
9
votes
3answers
126 views

Do our sources address the question of intellectual property vs the public good?

The NYTimes recently ran a piece about a malnourishment treatment that could save lives in Africa, but one company owns the recipe and controls it tightly. (See the article, I apologize if I'm not ...
4
votes
3answers
280 views

Is the sefer אור הצפון available?

Does anyone know where to get the sefer ohr hatzfon, containing mussar of the Alter of Slabadka, either online for free or by buying an actual copy?
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Seforim of Ramchal

I have heard (and don't remember where) that the seforim of the Ramchal, Mesilas Yesharim, Derech Hashem, and Klash Pischei Chochma are meant to be as steps in a ladder (no pun intended) of learning. ...
6
votes
2answers
288 views

Examples of Rabbis who had strong disagreements and were amicable

I'm looking for examples of Rabbis who had a serious disagreement and were nevertheless very kind and thoughtful towards each other. The main reason I'm asking for examples is to illustrate what a ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Mesilat Yesharim - how much time per day for zehirut/watchfulness

The Mesilat Yesharim brings down zehirut (watchfulness) as one of the first steps to master. Zehirut in essence means working on cleaning oneself up from all bad behavior through analyzing one's ...
7
votes
1answer
233 views

Riches found in a purchased item. Return or keep it?

A young rabbi reportedly found nearly $100,000 in a desk he'd purchased second-hand on Craigslist, and subsequently returned the money. Is this story about a Kiddush HaShem, or a Hassid Shoteh (...
8
votes
4answers
705 views

Why is the Mesillas Yesharim so popular and accepted?

To overgeneralize, I bet there is a copy of the mesillas yesharim in almost every orthodox home, shul and beis medrash. I'm wondering why this work is so popular and accepted. My wondering is ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Does the Reishis Chachma apply to our generation?

Is the mussar book Reishis Chachma considered still relevant for our generation? Seems to me it has very high demands of the reader. Please cite your source: any authority who says the book is or is ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Sefaradi Hashkafa of Musar

There are various Hashkafot in regards to Mussar from Rav Yisrael Salanter's Derech to the Hassidic Musar based Sefarim (most Chassidishe Sefarim are Musar). What's an example of Sefaradi Musar Derech?...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Origin of the Escalator analogy

What is the origin of the escalator analogy of always striving for growth? I'm referring to the analogy that, in life, like a person climbing a downward escalator, if one is not constantly striving ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Sitting in on classes

Is it stealing, or in any way unethical, to sit in on lectures at university that you aren't enrolled in (therefore aren't paying fees)? A lot of people do this and it's considered normal even for ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Corporations and Jewish ethics

Mitt Romney famously remarked that "corporations are people too." I don't buy that, but I've been wondering about what Jewish ethics says about how we should treat them. Specifically, If we speak ...
5
votes
5answers
403 views

Why do some people oppose Tav haYosher?

Is there a halachic reason to be opposed to Uri L'Tzedek and Tav haYosher? Why do some frum Jews oppose it? Really the only things that I can find is that Uri L'Tzedek is left-wing and led by YCT ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Why is it the halocho (law) that persuading others to give is greater than giving?

Chazal say, "Gadol hame’aseh yosair min ha’oseh," "the one causing others to give tzedakah is greater than the person giving the tzedakah" (Bava Basra 9a). The Shulchan Oruch YD 249 (5) brings this ...
3
votes
1answer
551 views

Is it permissible for a single woman to have a baby through artificial insemination by an anonymous sperm donor? Is it moral?

Single women, approaching or past 40, hear their biological clock alarm ringing with tremendous volume. One that I know has decided that her love life is not going to come around soon enough for her ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Is it permissible to embarrass a thief?

Here's a story I witnessed: Someone trying to get his car out of the public parking lot next to his building found his way out blocked by two cars parked right on the ramp out, whose owners went into ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Is Sephardi Chief Rabbi Sholomo Amar's recent psak on fiduciary responsibility really “unprecedented”?

HaAretz, last week, reported that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a halachic decision that "[b]usiness owners whose actions, either intentionally or through negligence, cause the public ...
3
votes
3answers
421 views

Definition of Baal Nefesh

I have seen "Baal Nefesh" used frequently in various contexts: sometimes as one who is scrupulous in halacha, other times as someone who is a quality person. What is its simple translation/meaning?
7
votes
1answer
61 views

What is Sha'arei HaAnavah?

Rabbeinu Yonah (Sha'arei Teshuvah 1:24) mentions "Sha'arei HaAnavah". What is this? I have never seen a book by that name attributed to him.
6
votes
1answer
142 views

All Sifre HaRamhal? (Rabbi Moshe Chayim Lutzato)

Is there a set that has "Kol Sifre HaRamhal"? The have "Kol Sifre HaHida" and other Rabanim, so maybe they'll also have all Sefarim of the Ramhal?
2
votes
5answers
374 views

Sifrei Mussar/Machshava/Avodah from the Rishonim

I'm looking for a list of some of the Seforim written by Rishonim that are in the category of either Mussar, Machshava, or Avodah (or anything else that fit into these categories.) For this question ...
5
votes
0answers
155 views

Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...