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26

I do not think it is a problem for a few reasons. Kin'as sofrim tarbeh chochmah (jealousy among scholars will increase wisdom - Baba Basra 21a). A certain extent of competition in Torah is a good thing. Having people compete for even something as minor as points helps increase Torah and wisdom. There is an issue of a person becoming haughty or seeking honor ...


25

Get married. This gives one the feeling of פת בסלו (bread in his basket) even when he is halachikaly forbidden to his wife. The Talmud says (Yevamos 63a) that a man should appreciate his wife simply for the fact that she saves him from sin. Also, another piece of practical advice given to me by my Chosson Teacher was to go outside for a walk. It works. ...


23

There are a lot of good answers here - I especially like @YDK's point about "taking a bullet" for someone really close to you, and not just anybody. I want to expand on this, because I feel this will cut to the heart of what @Seeker is asking. I think behind the questions of racism/nepotism/ethnocentrism, @Seeker has noticed a particular thing about Jews ...


20

Judaism isn't a "race," and its tenets aren't racist, for one simple reason: we accept (genuinely motivated) converts of any race or ethnic background, and for nearly all purposes of Jewish law they are fully the equivalent of born Jews.


15

Seeker, there may be two separate answers to your question depending on the case. More than a religion, the bible refers to the Jewish people as a single unit. Just as when two people make a commitment through marriage, they are promising to take care of each other at a level that is higher than that toward others. That doesn't mean I'm not nice to ...


15

It might be because the Written Torah doesn't really go much into the topic. (Why that is so is a whole other question.) So people may have incorrectly concluded that these ideas weren't originally part of Judaism. Another possibility is that they mean that we don't believe in the popular conception of Heaven (angels with harps) or of Hell (fiery lakes, ...


15

The way I see reputation points on stack exchange is that they are useful for the people asking questions, not for the person getting the points. That is, when someone comes to the site and asks a question, seeing the points next to a person's name gives that name 'recognition status'. If there is a debate between two people, one has 1 point, and the other ...


15

The Rambam says (Issurei Biah 21:19): וכן אסור לאדם שיביא עצמו לידי הרהור, אלא אם יבא לו הרהור יסיע לבו מדברי הבאי לדברי תורה שהיא אילת אהבים ויעלת חן.‏ It is forbidden for a person to bring himself to [sexual] thoughts. If a [sexual] thought comes to his mind, he should divert his heart from profligate and destructive matters to the words of Torah ...


14

A couple of answers that I've seen: Charging interest is something quite normal in the business world; there's nothing immoral about it per se. However, you wouldn't charge interest on a loan to your brother or sister, because you relate to them as family rather than as business associates. The Torah expects us to treat every Jew like a sibling (which, ...


13

The Mesillas Yesharim is certainly one of the most influential and popular seforim ever written. It is considered a basic text in most yeshivos and is widely studied by Jews throughout the world (both in the original language and in translation). Before we can address the reasons for the immense popularity of this work, we first need to address one of the ...


13

This comes to mind: ולא יתבייש מפני בני אדם המלעיגים עליו בעבודת השי"ת A person should not be embarrassed by people who jeer him regarding his service of God (שולחן ערוך, אורח חיים א:א בהגה)


12

(Source: this article on Torah.org) If the one who made the mistake is a Jew: Absolutely yes, you must return it. If the one who made the mistake is a non-Jew: there's lots of discussion, and it appears it's not so clear. But remember: doing so anyways will create a Kiddush Hashem (and is probably the right thing to do). To quote a relevant story retold ...


11

The idea that most talk about is that Judaism's gehinom is not a place for the damned as the christian hell is. It's spiritual rehabilitation. Although not everyone is zoche to this- I'm not privy to their fate. Suggested reading with a Rebbi: Derech Hashem. "Gan Eden" and "Gehinom" are our labels for a spiritual phase, not the actual Gan Eden/Gehinom ...


11

You didn't say which sin you're struggling to avoid. If it's masturbation: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch chapter 151 (available online in English and Hebrew) lists a whole slew of suggestions for avoiding masturbation. My favorite is from Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 151:6: "Be careful not to sleep alone in a room." Mishnah Berurah 239:9 and Sha'ar Ha'tziyun 239:17 ...


10

Thanks to Reddit user Bar Kappara (by way of @Isaac Moses) for this answer: Devarim Rabba 3:3: It is told of Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach that he once purchased an ass from an Ishmaelite. When his disciples came, they found a jewel suspended from its neck and said, "Master, 'The blessing of Hashem, it makes rich.'" [Proverbs 10:22] Rabbi Simon ben Shetach ...


9

To start with, there is the commandment in the Torah (Deut. 6:5): ואהבת את ה' אלקיך... ובכל נפשך ובכל מאדך ("You shall love Hashem your G-d... with all of your soul and with all of your might"), which the Mishnah (Berachos 54a) explains to mean, "even if He is taking your soul away," and "with all of your money." In a halachic context this is cited in ...


9

Rabbi Yair Hoffman has an analysis in the 5 Towns Jewish Times here (hat-tip to VIN for pointing me to it): The article views the question primarily around the issue of Onaah which it defines as 16.7% above or below market value (and possibly just a pricing mistake regardless). If that issue applied, then the sale would be invalid. The conclusion of the ...


9

The two quotes that come to mind are: מוטב לי להקרא שוטה כל ימי ולא ליעשות שעה אחת רשע לפני המקום [In response to requests that he change his rulings on certain issues:] I'd rather be called insane for all my days, but not be made evil in front of the Omnipresent even for a moment. (Eduyot 5:6 (English)) and יקוב הדין את ההר Let the law cut ...


9

Avot 3:2: רבי חנינא סגן הכהנים אומר, הוי מתפלל בשלומה של מלכותז, שאלמלא מוראה, איש את רעהו חיים בלעו Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive. (Translation: chabad.org)


8

Let's try this again; [h]apotiki is the name of the game here. Rambam, Lender and Borrower 18:3 ז [ג] עשה שדהו הפותיקי לבעל חובו, או לאישה בכתובתה, והוא שיכתוב להן מכאן תגבו, ושטפה נהר--הרי זה גובה משאר נכסים, וטורף אותן; ואם התנה עימו שלא יהיה לו פירעון אלא מזו, אינו גובה משאר נכסים. If a field was specified as payment to a creditor ..., and the ...


8

I know that one (perhaps the foremost one) urging that the Allies bomb the tracks was R' Michael Dov Weissmandl zt"l. If I recall correctly, he also urged that the camps themselves be bombed too; if that's true, then there you'd have a notable halachic authority who would permit (indeed advocate) this course of action.


8

"Yelchu Mchail el Choil" (Thilim 84:8) "They advance from strength to strength". ח יֵלְכוּ, מֵחַיִל אֶל-חָיִל; יֵרָאֶה אֶל-אֱלֹהִים בְּצִיּוֹן. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appeareth before God in Zion.


8

It will depend on the case, Judaism takes a balanced approach to this issue. Judaism definitely does not subscribe to the absolutist position of Deontologists such as Kant that the ends never justify the means. Kant would say that one could never lie, even to save someone else. However, in Judaism, every sin except 3 is nidcheh if there's any danger to life. ...


8

The story is a well-known piece of Jewish folklore, and it is hard to know if the story is true at all, and if it is, how much it may have changed over the generations. The story can be found in the sefer Michtavei Chofetz Chaim (p.262) at the beginning of an essay written in honor the shloshim of the Chofetz Chaim. It was originally published in the ...


7

I'm no expert on Geneivat Da'at, but my gut says that if you're misleading people to get them to do something they wouldn't otherwise do, you're presumably violating this prohibition. Here on mi.yodeya, except for in certain very special circumstances, it's best if everything you say is true, to the best of your knowledge. That way, people can digest and ...


7

Zechariah 3 (7): כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, אִם-בִּדְרָכַי תֵּלֵךְ וְאִם אֶת-מִשְׁמַרְתִּי תִשְׁמֹר, וְגַם-אַתָּה תָּדִין אֶת-בֵּיתִי, וְגַם תִּשְׁמֹר אֶת-חֲצֵרָי--וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ מַהְלְכִים, בֵּין הָעֹמְדִים הָאֵלֶּה. 'Thus saith the LORD of hosts: If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, and wilt also judge My house, and ...


7

Maybe it would be similar to the case of an uncancelled stamp? This page cites R. Menashe Klein zt"l as ruling that you can't reuse the stamp in that case, because of dina d'malchusa. (There is also the famous story of the Chofetz Chaim ripping up stamps when he had letters delivered by courier rather than the postal system, so as not to deprive the ...


7

From the Feldheim website: Of the many works of Rabbi Moshe Hayyim Luzzatto, Mesillat Yesharim stands out as his magnum opus. Ever since it was first published in 1740 in Amsterdam, it has enjoyed great renown and was eventually adopted as a basic text for ethical study. Throughout the long history of its publication, Mesillat Yesharim fell prey to many ...


7

If you use pornography, see "How do you quit a pornography habit?". Otherwise: Guard Your Eyes puts out a 75-page-long book called The GYE Handbook. It discusses all sorts of ideas in depth. Different ideas from the book will be most useful for different people. It's targeted at pornography users, but it's useful even for people who have never used ...


7

The Talmud (Yoma 4b) relates: ויקרא אל משה וידבר למה הקדים קריאה לדיבור? לימדה תורה דרך ארץ, שלא יאמר אדם דבר לחבירו אלא אם כן קורהו. מסייע ליה לרבי חנינא, דאמר רבי חנינא: לא יאמר אדם דבר לחבירו אלא אם כן קורהו. לאמר אמר רבי (מוסיא בר בריה דרבי מסיא משמיה דרבי מוסיא) +מסורת הש"ס: [מנסיא]+ רבה: מניין לאומר דבר לחבירו שהוא בבל יאמר, עד שיאמר לו לך אמור - ...



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