Questions tagged [mussar-ethics]

Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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3
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4answers
57 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:...
5
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3answers
565 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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1answer
42 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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0answers
34 views

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.
3
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2answers
461 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
147 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 ...
2
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1answer
45 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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48 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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1answer
97 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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82 views

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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2answers
100 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
58 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
226 views

English translation of Reshit Chochmah

Is there an English translation of the book Reshit Chochmah By Rabbi Eliyahu DaVidas?
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0answers
36 views

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 ...
5
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71 views

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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79 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?
4
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1answer
101 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 ...
3
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2answers
298 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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1answer
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 ...
2
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3answers
76 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
153 views

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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3answers
59 views

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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102 views

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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1answer
132 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
90 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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36 views

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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2answers
64 views

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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1answer
68 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
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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0answers
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 ...
3
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1answer
221 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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0answers
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 ...
6
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1answer
126 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
161 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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1answer
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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1answer
171 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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1answer
108 views

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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1answer
258 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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1answer
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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0answers
107 views

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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2answers
90 views

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', ...
5
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1answer
79 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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1answer
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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0answers
236 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 ...
2
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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
274 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
581 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 ...
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4answers
100 views

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 ...