Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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11
votes
3answers
297 views

Receiving Too Much Change

Do I have an obligation to give back extra change I receive? Would it matter if the store owner or person giving it to me was a Jew?
5
votes
2answers
460 views

Chovos Halevavos vs. Mesilas Yesharim

The three basic texts that R' Yisroel Salanter wanted people to learn were Chovos HaLevavos, Mesilas Yesharim and Cheshbon HaNefesh. (source: here) what is the difference between Chovos Halevavos and ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Is there a prohibition in the Torah against calling someone by their nickname?

I remember vaguely about a story of a certain sage in the Talmud that would never call anyone by a nickname. Is this just proper moral behavior or is there an actual halachah against giving people ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Why are rules of proper behavior not in the written Torah?

Pirkei Avot 1:1: Moshe received the Torah from Sinai... Bartenura on Pirkei Avot 1:1:1: ... the author began with this tractate Moses received the Torah from Sinai, to say to you that the ...
4
votes
3answers
65 views

Discriminatory charity

The Talmud Bavli (Bava Metzia' 71A; Original, English) teaches that "the poor of thine own town have prior rights" (עניי עירך קודמין). How does the Torah justify discriminatory charity? Why must "the ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

What's a musar vaad and why is it called that?

I'm familiar with the term "ועד" (vaad) as meaning something like "congress" or "council" or "board": a legislative or similar body like the Vaad Arba Aratzos, the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, or the ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Gentile Biography which Inspires

What is the jewish view on reading biographies of remarkable gentiles which one finds inspirational provided there is no apikorsus in the content. Have come across a website about a certain person ...
62
votes
2answers
1k views

Does “reputation scoring” make “the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with”?

Is "reputation scoring" against the spirit of Pirkei Ovos 4 (5) "Rabbi Tzaddok would say: <snip> Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, ...."
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Why does the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot 3:2 end in a pasuk without a straight up answer? What is the pasuk trying to teach us?

Why does the Mishnah in Avot 3:2 end by quoting a pasuk (biblical verse) without a straight up answer? What is the pasuk in Eichah (verse from Lamentations) trying to teach us? Pirkei Avot 3:2 ...
3
votes
3answers
465 views

Aside from the Mitzvah “to be fruitful and multiply” why else should a Jewish person want to get married?

What does the Torah say regarding the reasons that one should get married? I am looking for sources such as "ein simcha beli isha" and other philosophical intrinsic reasons for finding a mate.
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Sources for retracting an incorrect statement

Is it brought down anywhere, something to the effect that if one realizes he was incorrect in a matter (can be a Torah-related matter, or a secular matter), he must retract his statement? Preferably, ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Is it ethical for someone who's paid hourly to count an hour long lunch break?

If someone works part time and is paid hourly, is it ok to write down a lunch break as part of his or her hours? Especially in the case that someone is only working 4-5 hours a day total, and not a ...
11
votes
2answers
284 views

El Al Airfare error and Halachah

What are the Halachic implications of yesterday's El Al airfare snafu? In brief, El Al's air tickets were being sold online very cheap for a while; the price was later corrected, and El Al claimed the ...
6
votes
1answer
184 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
691 views
16
votes
19answers
3k views

How can I curb my sexual desire?

I am looking for the best and most practical suggestion as to what a man can do to curb his yetzer hara (evil inclination) for sexual desire. Please provide sources for why your answer should be ...
4
votes
1answer
69 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
388 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
40 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
209 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
57 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
58 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
39 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
88 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
150 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
56 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
84 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Cheshbon HaNefesh Software

I'm looking for something online or an app, really anything that is on an electronic device, that can help with cheshbon hanefesh. The ideal would be a program or app specifically set up for ...
5
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
78 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?
4
votes
2answers
67 views

Parameters of “kalus rosh”

What is the definition of kalus rosh? What are the halachos of kalus rosh and where do they apply?
2
votes
0answers
122 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
152 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
126 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
103 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
92 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
124 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
141 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
597 views

Train ticket not collected: destroy?

Assuming a train line where single-ride tickets are normally collected or cancelled manually by train crew circulating among seated passengers, and it is physically possible to use them later if they ...
4
votes
5answers
291 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
749 views

Do Jews believe in Heaven and Hell?

In yeshiva I was always told about gan eden and gehinnom, and how the good go to the former place while the bad go to the latter. However, in popular culture, Jews are always said to not believe in ...
2
votes
4answers
208 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
202 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
80 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) ...
7
votes
4answers
286 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
237 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
118 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
185 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
115 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
255 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 ...