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Questions tagged [mussar-ethics]

Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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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? [closed]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Help finding a chazal, could be עין יעקב

I was asked to find a chazal that contrasts the Gaava a woman can have with that of a male talmid chochom. I am unclear which way they differentiate, i was told there's something to do with דבורה ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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Where's Chazal About Jewelry Without Clothes

I vaguely recall seeing a mashal about a woman wearing fine jewelry, but no clothes, possibly related to someone with Torah, but not-great middos (like the nose ring on a pig one); however, for the ...
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An obligation to intervene?

I was posed a hypothetical question about medical ethics today. I am not looking for a psak as much as for sources on the discussion about halachic responsibility. Case 1: You are personally told by ...
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Teaching Mussar to a non-Jew?

Are we allowed to teach Sifrei Mussar (for instance Orchos Tzadikim, Mesilas Yesharim, Chovos Halevavos) to non-Jews? What about the Gra on Mishlei?
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Where in hovot halevavot does the author mention the benefits of work?

I heard in a shiur that work is a bracha that prevents one from sin and allows one to be tested. In which chapter can I find this content?
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Ethics of survey studies with a false premise

This morning I received a blast email in a group of which I'm a member, offering for free to the first taker a set of items I have never had, nor do I think I will ever have, interest in owning. I ...
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What the Bal Shem Tov Said [duplicate]

There is "famous" thing that is said over in the name of the Baal Shem Tov. It's essentially that one who sees faults in others, really himself has that fault in themselves. And perhaps the one who ...
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Are there published works of Eleazar Rokeach (of Worms) in English?

A list from Wikipedia can be found here of his ethical and pietistic works. Known as well by: Eleazar of Worms (אלעזר מוורמייזא) (c. 1176–1238) Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymus Eleazar Rokeach (...
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Remedy for Desire for a Married Woman

Background: We are all human and sometimes tend towards the evil inclination. At times we successfully fight against the inappropriate feelings, thoughts, actions, etc. At other times we don't do so ...
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Is it better not to wear a watch on Shabbat?

I know it is permissible to wear a watch on Shabbat, and I have already perused this question about the particulars of what kinds of watch features are and are not permitted (ignoring the issue of ...
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Immoral Halacha

In a conversation concerning the normal sensitive halachic issues, e.g. gender roles, homosexuality, etc., I recently heard a rabbi state that they found parts of halacha and the torah unethical and ...