Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur, p 396, speaking about the refinement needed for accepting the Torah quotes the gemoro in Kiddushim 40b that someone who eats in the marketplace is compared to a dog and some say is invalid as a witness.

Do the sources give other examples (especially contemporary ones) of behaviour which manifest a disregard for man being “in the image of G-d”.

  • Chagiga 5a regarding not killing a louse in the presence of another, or not spitting in the presence of another. Commented May 18, 2020 at 22:40
  • @IsraelReader that's a lack of refinement which is a preclusion to Torah?
    – robev
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 23:41
  • @robev The expression דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה is commonly taken to mean that before one can learn and put into practice the mitzvot of the Torah, they must pave the path with Derech Eretz, meaning moral development, decent behavior etc. The alleged source of this saying is Vayirka Rabba (9:3). However closer examination, in context, shows that that is NOT the intent of the Sages. It merely refers to the world's history; that 26 generations of "Derech Eretz", of being involved in the civil ways of the world, preceded the giving of the Torah. Commented May 19, 2020 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


שבת קה ב

ר"ש בן אלעזר אומר משום חילפא בר אגרא שאמר משום ר' יוחנן בן נורי המקרע בגדיו בחמתו והמשבר כליו בחמתו והמפזר מעותיו בחמתו יהא בעיניך כעובד ע"ז

Shabat 105:b

R' Shimon says, in the name of Hilpha Bar Agra, in the name of Rabbi Yochnan Ben Nori, Whoever tears his clothes because of anger, and break his property because of anger, and spend his money because of anger, will be considered as idol worshiper in your eyes.

משנה אבות ב ה

... אין בור ירא חטא, ולא עם הארץ חסיד, ולא הביישן למד, ולא הקפדן מלמד, ולא כל המרבה בסחורה מחכים

Mishna Avot 2:5

...A ignorant is not sin-fearing, nor is an Tora-lacking person pious; nor can a shy person learn, nor can an harsh\strict person teach; nor will someone who engages too much in business become wise


A series of directives for proper behaviour of a Talmid Chochom are to be found in Rambam Hilchos Deos Chapter 5. Examples of behaviour which manifest a disregard for man being “in the image of G-d” will be behaviour against these directives.

I have extracted some points:

Just as the wise man is recognized through his wisdom and his temperaments and in these, he stands apart from the rest of the people, so, too, he should be recognized through his actions - in his eating, drinking, intimate relations, in relieving himself, in his speech, manner of walking and dress, in the management of his finances, and in his business dealings. All of these actions should be exceptionally becoming and befitting.

What is implied? A תַּלְמִיד חָכָם should not be a glutton. Rather, he should eat food which will keep his body healthy, without overeating.

When a wise man drinks wine, he drinks only enough to soften the food in his stomach.

Although a man's wife is permitted to him at all times, it is fitting that a wise man behave with holiness. He should not frequent his wife like a rooster.

תַּלְמִידי חכמים conduct themselves with exceptional modesty. They do not demean themselves and do not bare their heads or their bodies.

A תַּלְמִיד חָכָם should not shout or shriek while speaking, like the cattle and wild beasts, nor should he raise his voice overly much. Instead, he should speak gently to all people.

He should greet all men [before they greet him], so that they be pleased with him. He should judge every one in a good light, speak favorably of his fellow man, [never mentioning] anything that is shameful to him, love peace and pursue it.

A תַּלְמִיד חָכָם's clothing should be attractive and clean. It is forbidden that [a] blood or fat [stain] or the like be found on his garment.

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