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

This is a midrash from Kohelet Rabbah 7:16, Tanhuma, Parashat Mezora,1; Yalkut Shimoni, I Samuel, Chapter 121 and the Rambam in Guide for the Perplexed Part 3, Chapter 39. See also Me’am Loez ...
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10 votes

Someone in authority apologizes?

See Talmud Ta'anit 20a - 20b. Synopsis: Rav Elazar ben Rav Shimon was on the road and an ugly man greeted him. Rav Elazar offended him by asking, "Are all people from your village as ugly as you?" He ...
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9 votes

Where is it written that anger is like idolatry

It is a a baraita in Masekhet Shabbat 105b: המקרע בגדיו בחמתו והמשבר כליו בחמתו והמפזר מעותיו בחמתו יהא בעיניך כעובד ע"ז שכך אומנתו של יצה"ר היום אומר לו עשה כך ולמחר אומר לו עשה כך "If one ...
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  • 43.7k
9 votes

Going on a date

1) Regarding a shidduch, the Shulchan Aruch says, "For the sake of marriage, a man may view an unmarried girl or lady to see whether he likes her appearance and general characteristics. It is not only ...
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9 votes
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Why we have two ears vs. one mouth?

I saw the following quoted as the Vilna Gaon's commentary to Mishlei 11:2: שעיקר החכמה הוא בהצנועים ששותקין מלומר תורתם ודעתם, רק שומעין מרבותם. כי כאשר הוא יאמר דבריו, לא יוסיף לו כלום, אבל ...
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  • 6,384
8 votes

Why were the Tanayim and Amoraim so easily offended?

The offense they took was not personal, but in their capacity as leaders and representatives of Torah Scholars in general. If they allowed themselves to be insulted without protest, they feared there ...
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  • 3,291
8 votes

Someone in authority apologizes?

There are many stories of great rabbis apologizing to people much below their spiritual level. For instance, this story of the Steipler Gaon apologizing to a bar mitsva boy for mistakenly criticizing ...
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8 votes

Someone in authority apologizes?

For example did Hashem ever apologize? Chulin 60b tells of how God tried to appease the moon after diminishing it, and eventually ordains the new month's sacrifices as a sin offering for his having ...
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  • 23.8k
8 votes

Good book(s) on conquering anger?

There are several options you might one to consider. Some that specifically focus on anger alone and some that examine anger along with other middos: 1) The Enemy Within I highly recommend Rabbi ...
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  • 20.6k
7 votes

Are women inherently lazy, or was it a temporary state?

The Aruch Hashulchan in siman 437 siff 7 writes that nowadays women are bodek even better than men and dig after a miniscule amount of chametz and wash and clean every place. Another point is to ...
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7 votes
Accepted

man is greater than an angel

This is the subject of dispute between R. Saadyah Gaon and the kabbalists, on the one hand, and ibn Ezra and Maimonides on the other. According to Rasag (Emunot ve-de'ot 4:1), man is greater than all ...
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7 votes

Someone in authority apologizes?

Berachot 31b ויען עלי ויאמר לכי לשלום אמר רבי אלעזר מכאן לחושד את חברו בדבר שאין בו שצריך לפייסו ולא עוד אלא שצריך לברכו שנאמר ואלהי ישראל יתן את שלתך Then Eli answered and said, Go in Peace....
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7 votes
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Is there a master list(s) of Middot?

The Sefer Orchos Tzaddikim speaks about the following character traits: גאוה - Pride/Arrogance ענוה - Humility בושה - Shame עזות - Brazenness אהבה - Love שנאה - Hate רחמים - Mercy אכזריות - Cruelty ...
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  • 20.6k
6 votes

Source for Rambam on Habit and Character

What you are quoting is an English translation of part of a testament that has been attributed to the Rambam (-some details). It is called שערי המוסר. A more literal translation is "Accustom ...
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  • 702
6 votes

how could Korach have ruach hakodesh

I would propose - but have no source for it - that Korach's bad traits of jealousy and arrogance were a result of his prophesy. In other words, Korach was a simple Jew happy to go along with Moshe's ...
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6 votes
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Is there a problem with lying?

See Gemara BM 23b For Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: In the following three matters learned men do conceal the truth: In matters of a tractate {they ask know you this Massechet at your ...
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5 votes

how could Korach have ruach hakodesh

Tiferes Tzion says that even though Korach lacked the refinement of character to receive prophecy, Ruach Hakodesh still rested upon him because he lived in a holy environment that was conductive to ...
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  • 1,843
5 votes

Source for Rambam on Habit and Character

Hilchot Deot 1:7 How can one train himself to follow these temperaments to the extent that they become a permanent fixture of his [personality]? He should perform - repeat - and perform a ...
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  • 20.5k
5 votes

How can I curb my sexual desire?

Rav Nachum Rabinovitch in his Shu"t Siach Nachum (p.308) suggests not obsessing about it ("v'afilu lo lshem charata uteshuva" - "even not in the interest of regret and repentance") and instead ...
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  • 17.2k
5 votes

How can I curb my sexual desire?

(Brachos Daf 5a) R. Levi bar Chama : A person should always arouse his Yetzer Tov to fight his Yetzer ha'Ra , 1. If he does not overpower his Yetzer ha'Ra, he should learn Torah 2. If he still ...
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  • 1,457
5 votes

How can I curb my sexual desire?

picture how the girl would look like if her skin were peeled off. You would absolutely throw up just looking at her. now consider that the "beauty" is only skin-deep - literally. that ought to cool ...
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5 votes
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Mah hu af atah parameters

Nice question! Maybe the idea is, see in the Torah if there is not something against it. For example, we do not kill a guilty bidei shamayim, because as is said in the Torah: ולא ימות הרוצח עד ...
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  • 1,465
5 votes

Can there be too much chesed?

Definitely not: Mishnah Peah (1,1) we say it daily in the morning prayer: אלו דברים שאין להם שיעור: הפאה...וגמילות חסדים ותלמוד תורה.: These are the things that have no measure: Peah, ...
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  • 24.7k
4 votes

How can I curb my sexual desire?

Try the Lithuanian Yeshiva approach: STOP THINKING ABOUT IT Instead channel your desires into Torah Study which is saves and atones for all sins. If, G-d forbid you "failed", DO NOT DWELL ON ...
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4 votes

Source for Rambam on Habit and Character

In Hilchot Deot 1:2 "With regard to all the traits: a man has some from the beginning of his conception, in accordance with his bodily nature. Some are appropriate to a person's nature and will [...
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  • 695
4 votes

how could Korach have ruach hakodesh

Perhaps Korach experienced his ruach hakodesh at the giving of the Torah during which even the lowest handmaid experienced a prophecy greater than that of Ezekiel? (Rashi on Shemot 15:2)
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4 votes

Are women inherently lazy, or was it a temporary state?

The ר״ן in פסחים on 30b says that we only say that women are lazy if there is no definite איסור, but if there is definitely an איסור (for instance, the removal of גיד הנשה) they are believed.
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4 votes
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Parameters of Yuhara - When should someone be concerned that he's overdoing it?

The sefer Chayei Moshe, by R' Moshe Mendel Shklarsh, in his section on Klalei Psak V'Halacha, discusses yuhara. He writes that it only applies to be stringent in public on something that, min hadin (...
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  • 5,485
4 votes

Is there a problem with lying?

Generally, you should not lie. Sotah 42a makes it clear that those who lie (shakranim) do not merit the divine presence. Who are these shakranim? dafyomi.co.il translates it as follows: SHAKRANIM (...
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  • 1,846
4 votes

Mah hu af atah parameters

I like @yO_'s answer, which implies that some of the mitzvos were commanded explicitly to avoid our reaching the wrong conclusion by watching Hashem's behavior. But I wish to add a second possibility. ...
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