Questions tagged [mussar-ethics]

Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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0answers
54 views

Is ethical hacking a Halakhikly permissible profession?

Is ethical (white hat) hacking a Halakhikly permissible profession? What are the halachot which apply to hacking and in particular ethical hacking? What stance would Jewish ethics take on ethical ...
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77 views

Book on changing habits and middot (character traits) improvement?

There is now an increasing body of secular literature on how changing habits can help change character (e.g., The Power of Habit, Atomic Habits) but this is not new to us (see Rambam's Hilchot Deot 1:...
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592 views

What defines a person who is circumcised “of the heart”?

Circumcisions of the heart are a topic which I've seen mentioned a couple of times but never really delved into. While the word circumcision is used to describe it, the mark cannot be equated to true ...
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44 views

Mussar work by Chacham Ovadia

Did, Maran HaRav HaGaon Ovadia Yosef Ztk"l write any Ethical(mussar) work during his lifetime? And if he did, do we have it online in english?
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When is anonymous negative speech lashon hara'?

When you speak negatively about someone, and your audience has no way of knowing what individual you are referring to, is it still considered lashon hara'? Source please.
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What exactly is the Mussar movement and how does it differ from mainstream Judaism?

I've been hearing the term "Mussar Movement" being used a lot more often as of late and I even saw some advertisements for it on other Jewish forums. I'm speaking to a specific movement, not just the ...
3
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1answer
44 views

Can a donation request be added to a death notice?

When a member or loved one dies, a congregation sends its members a death notice. Without asking the survivors, they add at the end: "Click here to make a donation to the congregation in memory of the ...
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1answer
148 views

Is the profession of selling interview recordings, as depicted on Shtisel, ethical?

A man makes a living videotaping extensive interviews with nursing home residents, then selling them to the survivors for a high sum of money when the subject dies. If the survivors balk, he tells ...
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1answer
49 views

Is “holding memories” considered “Bearing a Grudge”?

We are commanded in Vayikra (19:18) "You shall neither take revenge nor bear a grudge against the members of your people". Some people say, “I don’t hold grudges. I just hold memories that keep me ...
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51 views

Rebbe Nachman and learning Mussar

At the end of the Noam Elimelech, R' Elimelech has "Hanhagos Ha'adam". In it, he writes that one should spend spend time every day learning sifrei mussar: ד. ויעסוק באימה וביראה באיזה ספרי מוסר ...
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104 views

Alei Shur Online

Does anyone know if there is a copy of Rav Wolbe's Alei Shur anywhere online? Free versions preferred, but if it is behind a paywall that can work too. Thanks!
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What is a source for this idea in Sefer HaYashar?

The following passage settled with me in an interesting way. Although the statements recorded are themselves quite eye opening, I am unfamiliar with such an idea at large. In that sense was the ...
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106 views

Need to cite sources

What is the need to have a source for any teaching of Torah? Can you please give me sources for the answer based on mussar and halacha also.
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1answer
59 views

Does Orthodox Judaism endorse or prescribe exercises and acts to help counteract negative influences or inner spiritual issues and conflicts?

I know this question sounds kind of "New Age" in terms of theme but I was genuinely curious if Orthodox Judaism has any figures who endorsed such topics or books which discussed the topic (either in ...
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1answer
284 views

English translation of Reshit Chochmah

Is there an English translation of the book Reshit Chochmah By Rabbi Eliyahu DaVidas?
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Book recommendation for Jewish mindfulness

My Yom Kippur "cheshbon hanefesh" taught me that I should train myself to be conscious of the purpose of each activity, however trivial, as I engage in it through the day. (I think that this might be ...
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How is love created? Is giving sufficient or must there be Hakoras Hatov?

Related: Where does Rav Dessler mention that root word of אהבה is הב? Rav Wolbe in Alei Shur vol 2, in the first va'ad on Hakaras Hatov (page רעט) says that Hakaras Hatov is a foundation of love. ...
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80 views

May I tell someone that I've figured out his online screen name?

Without publicly revealing his identity, would merely telling someone that he "outed himself" constitute אונאת דברים?
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1answer
104 views

Can one publicize a poor experience with a service provider to discourage others from using him?

Trigger situation for this question: someone asked for a doctor recommendation on a WhatsApp group with 200+ members. When a particular doctor was mentioned, one of the members wrote he had a bad ...
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2answers
344 views

Bish'vili nivra ha'olam/Anochi afar Papers

Who was the person who would walk around with 2 papers in his pocket, one of which said "bishvili nivra ha'olam" ("the world was created for me") and the other "anochi afar va'eifer" ("I am dirt and ...
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68 views

Does learning / teaching Mussar, (Jewish ethics) without quoting Torah texts, require Birchas Hatorah? [duplicate]

Does learning or teaching Mussar (Jewish ethics) without quoting Torah texts, require Birchas Hatorah? There are many types of Mussar, like someone telling another person what the Jewish ideology is ...
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How to approach teaching Jewish ethics morality for a 12 year old?

How to describe and teach Jewish ethics/morality to 12 year old? Seeking topic lists, curricula, books, etc. on the topic of Jewish ethics/morality appropriate for a 12 year old. These might be case ...
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Which Seforim is Rav Chaim of Volozhin speaking of?

In the beginning of Sha'ar Daled of Nefesh HaChaim, Rav Chaim of Volozhin criticises those people who do not engage in classical learning, but instead spend time studying "Sifrei Yirah U'Mussar." ...
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The Orchos Tzaddikim in Shaar HaSimcha: What does Purim have to do with remembering the Exodus?

The Orchos Tzaddikim in the end of Shaar HaSimcha writes: (Source from Sefaria.org) גם צריך לשמוח בשבתות וימים טובים ופורים, כי כולם לזכר יציאת מצרים ולזכר הנסים שהפליא עם בחיריו It is also ...
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Who originally speculated that the Orchos Tzaddikim's author was a woman?

I recall hearing (as well as saw from this link) that it has been speculated that the author of the Orchos Tzaddikim was a woman. Did someone originally posit this idea, or is it a rumor that has ...
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A case of business ethics - pricing a matchable antique

A certain piece of art is worth $10,000 for a matched pair. A single is only worth $100. You own an antique shop and have a single in the back. A poor widow with ten children walks in and offers to ...
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1answer
93 views

Help finding a chazal, could be עין יעקב

I was asked to find a maamar Chazal that contrasts the Gaava (haughtiness) a woman can have with that of a male talmid chochom. I am unclear which way they differentiate, i was told there's something ...
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Source that people are judged based on their inclinations

Where does the Orchos Tzaddikim say that everyone is judged according to their inclinations, meaning that you could have one person who acts better than a second person but the second person is better ...
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What does בנחת mean in the Igeres HaRamban?

The beginning of the Igeres HaRamban says: תִּתְנַהֵג תָּמִיד לְדַבֵּר כָּל דְּבָרֶיךָ בְּנַחַת, לְכָל אָדָם וּבְכָל עֵת, וּבַזֶּה תִּנָּצֵל מִן הַכַּעַס, שֶׁהִיא מִדָּה רָעָה לְהַחְטִיא בְּנֵי ...
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Mesillat Yesharim Melody (Niggun)

Years ago I ran across a recording online of a niggun for reciting the opening paragraphs of Mesillat Yesharim. I can't relocate it, but I slightly remember reading that it was a well known learning ...
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88 views

it is for forbidden to do something good for someone who does not acknowledge the good

"it is for forbidden to do something good for someone who does not acknowledge the good" is this true? what is the source of this? who else holds like this? at this site it says: Maharal explains ...
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67 views

Sanhedrin Redefining the simple translation of a Passuk

The Sanhedrin are empowered with the capability of defining a certain word or verse in the Torah through a Drasha exegesis (cf. Hilkhot Mamrim 1:3). Firstly, does this mean that before the Sanhedrin ...
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232 views

Why did God sanction killing everything that breathes against the 7 nations?

Why did God sanction killing everything that breathes against the 7 nations? Why did God sanction such a thing? How is every single person of these nations to blame? Deuteronomy 20:16 "However, of ...
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35 views

Is there work on oneself or service of Hashem which is specific to older age, say over 70?

Do the sources specify the sort of work on oneself or service of Hashem which is specific to older age, say over 70? I might have thought that the differences that are brought on by age as expressed ...
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A good maggid shiur who goes through an entire sefer of hashkafa

I have gone through the Mesilas Yesharim superficially once, I am now learning Likutei Amarim (Tanya) and The Kuzari. I have listened to shiurim on Chovos Halevavos, and Alei Shur. I have dipped my ...
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162 views

Morality before Sinai

If Torah is the source of morality, defining what is right and wrong, then Pre-Matan Torah, pre-Sinai, what form of moral objectivity existed?
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43 views

Source of idea of “no spiritual stasis” [duplicate]

What is the origin of the Mussar old adage that there is no such thing as spiritual stasis; one is always either ascending or descending spiritually?
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178 views

Source for skipping the first Shaar of Chovos HaLevavos

I heard today in Shul that there is a custom to "skip" the first Shaar of Chovos HaLevavos and substitute it by the Kuzari or the Mesilas Yesharim instead. Does anyone know what is the source for this?...
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How does one develop a Lev Tov

In Pirkei Avot 2:9 it's Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach who states that a Lev Tov (good heart) is the greatest good - the best "acquisition" - or best trait for a person to acquire, or which should be the goal ...
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273 views

Mussar seforim written by gentiles

Are there any mussar seforim learned in the Yeshivas that were originally written by a gentile and then translated into lashon kodesh, and have now become part of the Jewish mussar library. I had ...
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102 views

Is the Magen Tzedek for workers' living conditions?

Recently I chanced across websites that describe the pitiful living conditions of (largely migrant) agricultural workers in various countries worldwide (e.g., China, Africa, Europe, Asia, North ...
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Rambam and Torah Lishma

the Rambam (Teshuva 10:2) defines the ideal motivation of performing mitzvot as (lishma) one "who does the truth because it is the truth" On the other hand, the Mesilat Yesharim defines the ideal ...
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In what sense is fear of God alone wisdom?

In the Mesilat Yesharim, the Ramchal brings the talmud in Shabbat 31b: "Hen fear of God - this is wisdom" (Job 28:28). Our Sages of blessed memory commented (Shab 31b), "'Hen' [hints to] 'one', ...
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80 views

a person should not move away from where his parents live (source)

the pele yoets (Exile) says that our rabbis said that it is a mitzva to live by parents our Sages also said, “It is incumbent upon a man to live in the city of his fathers”; it is as difficult ...
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93 views

Downloading a book when you've already bought a physical copy

I'm starting college this semester, and my friends and I are discovering that some of the required books for our courses are seriously expensive. We've had some discussion about the ethics of ...
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244 views

May one ride in a utilitarian car?

A new study has confirmed the obvious: people want to survive: even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not ...
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1answer
115 views

How should you react when being scolded by a parent? [duplicate]

I read in Sefer Hachinuch mitzva 338 that a Jew is obligated to not be as a stone when he is getting degraded. But does this still stand by a parent whom you have to respect? What should you do if ...
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1answer
102 views

most neglected positive mitzvah? [closed]

In the context of a discussion of the obligation of burying a corpse found on the way: And an exception is made for the met mitzvah. Should the kohen encounter an abandoned corpse, and no one ...
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4answers
282 views

Mesilat Yesharim on Watchfulness

In chapter 3 of the Path of the Just, the Ramchal says: He who wants to watch over himself must investigate two matters. The first: that he contemplate what is the true good for man to choose ...
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5answers
610 views

How to maintain devotion to Hashem in a low period in one's life?

It seems that when things in a person's life are going well, it's easy to pray with concentration and be devoted to the service of the creator. However, when things turn sour these items are more ...