Questions tagged [mussar-ethics]

Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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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 necessary ...
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199 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 ...
7
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1answer
145 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
108 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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0answers
43 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
82 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
96 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
120 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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73 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
377 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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42 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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1answer
173 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 ...
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2answers
176 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
50 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
238 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
202 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
431 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
106 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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128 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
117 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', ...
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1answer
85 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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101 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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296 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 to ...
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1answer
120 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
109 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 ...
2
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3answers
369 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
651 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
108 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 ...
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1answer
103 views

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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2answers
470 views

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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36 views

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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1answer
66 views

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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3answers
232 views

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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100 views

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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1answer
478 views

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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362 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
268 views

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 ...
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76 views

Seeking uplifting vort for Thanksgiving day table

I am looking for suggestions for one or more short discussion topics or teachings for the Thanksgiving day table, with kids from 10 years of age and up. Topics alone are fine, but topics fleshed out ...
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2answers
366 views

What is an overview of Judaism's arguments against the "unconscious violinist" analogy used to support abortion in the case of rape?

I am looking for the response of any denomination that is against abortion in the case of rape that has also responded to the scenario below or something similar to it. "A Defense of Abortion" (...
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1answer
73 views

What did King David do to the people of Ammon after he captures the city in Shmuel 2 at the end of Chapter 12

What does this actually mean? Was it that King David put them to work or he literally tortured them? where it says: 31. And the people that were therein he brought forth and he put them under saws, ...
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4answers
219 views

How can one serve G-d with Simcha when one is painfully aware of flaws, sins, and other bad habits?

How does one serve G-d with simcha when one is aware of flaws, sins, and other bad habits that should cause one to also have bitterness. Not asking about depression and other negative emotions, ...
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3answers
220 views

Kibbud Av v'Eim Seforim

Would anyone know of an English sefer on Kibbud Av v'Eim which Has a mix of Halacha and Mussar ?
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1answer
264 views

Sefer "Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh" on "Mesillas Yeasharim"

There is a Sefer called Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh by R' Itamar Shwartz on Mesillas Yesharim. It happens to be out of print , but would anyone know where I could find it?
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106 views

Is deception by omission ever allowed?

Background Assume the following facts: One person (A) is aware another person (B) believes something is true that is not true. A did not cause B's misplaced belief. Questions Does A have any ...
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0answers
125 views

Can and should I report cheaters?

Sometimes during an exam, the Rabbi or professor leaves the room. This provides an opportunity (which some students take) to openly and publicly cheat. (These students are not wearing kipot nor are ...
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1answer
71 views

The Machzeh Einayim on crying

In the book With Hearts Full of Love on page 300, Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon states the following: In Machzeh Einayim the sefer asks, "Why is that the Creator constructed people in such a way that no ...
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5answers
424 views

good online mussar work to study with a beginner

I am looking for recommendations for a good online mussar work to study with a beginner (english).
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1answer
6k views

Jewish saying: "To be lenient when you should be firm is to be cruel when you could be kind."?

I heard today there is an old Jewish saying that goes something like this: “To be lenient when you should be firm is to be cruel when you could be kind.” This, as so many Jewish ...
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2answers
123 views

What can one do to see clearer that God is really in charge of everything?

Based on my Jewish learning it is clear that God created the world, oversees everything and everything that happens is in accord with his will. However as I carry out my day to day activities it ...
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1answer
80 views

Qafih edition of Chovos Halvevavos Online

Is R. Yosef Qafih's translation of the Chovos Halevavos available for free online (preferably as copyable text)?