18

The Mesillas Yesharim is certainly one of the most influential and popular seforim ever written. It is considered a basic text in most yeshivos and is widely studied by Jews throughout the world (both in the original language and in translation). Before we can address the reasons for the immense popularity of this work, we first need to address one of the ...


14

This comes to mind: ולא יתבייש מפני בני אדם המלעיגים עליו בעבודת השי"ת A person should not be embarrassed by people who jeer him regarding his service of God (שולחן ערוך, אורח חיים א:א בהגה)


13

The story is a well-known piece of Jewish folklore, and it is hard to know if the story is true at all, and if it is, how much it may have changed over the generations. The story can be found in the sefer Michtavei Chofetz Chaim (p.262) at the beginning of an essay written in honor the shloshim of the Chofetz Chaim. It was originally published in the ...


13

The ש"ך wrote a commentary on the שולחן ערוך. The ט"ז argued with many of his rulings. The ש"ך responded in the נקודת הכסף. The ט"ז responded again in the "דף אחרון". And the ש"ך responded to that in "קונטרס אחרון". (source) In the הקדמה to the נקודת הכסף in יורה דעה, the author, the ש"ך, writes (see there): אל יעלה על לב הקורא בספרי זה שמפני שהיה לי ח"ו ...


12

Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel: The last mishnah in the 1st chapter of Yebamoth brings an argument between Beit Hillel and Beit Shamai. A consequence of this argument was Beit Hillel ruling certain children resulting from the ruling of Beit Shamai mamzerim, (individuals who could not marry regular jews), and Beit Shamai ruling certain children of Beit Hillel's ...


11

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner suggests that Mesilas Yesharim (MY) be studied before Chovos Halevavos (CH) since MY is a written in a more accessible style and the topics are more basic. CH is deeper and the language is harder. THinking about it some more with MY you will come away with more actionable tasks. i.e zerisus, zehiros, etc.. with CH the take aways are more ...


11

Thanks to Reddit user Bar Kappara (by way of @Isaac Moses) for this answer: Devarim Rabba 3:3: It is told of Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach that he once purchased an ass from an Ishmaelite. When his disciples came, they found a jewel suspended from its neck and said, "Master, 'The blessing of Hashem, it makes rich.'" [Proverbs 10:22] Rabbi Simon ben Shetach ...


11

I have a guess with no source (yet): The "own town" rule is a mechanism for making sure that no one falls through the cracks. If people donated based on some other criterion, let's say urgency of need, then, in the extreme, all donations in the world would go to the same starving town somewhere, and then would turn to the town that just got hit by a ...


11

This practice was advocated (possibly first suggested) by R. Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, as brought in his name in the collection of Hassidic Torah and lore entitled 'Siach Sarfe Kodesh' (n. 233): שכל או״א (אחד ואחד) צריך להיות לו שני קעשינעס (כיסים) להשתמש בו בעת צרכו. בקעשינע אחד בשבילי נברא העולם ובהקעשינע השני אנכי עפר ואפר


10

The two quotes that come to mind are: מוטב לי להקרא שוטה כל ימי ולא ליעשות שעה אחת רשע לפני המקום [In response to requests that he change his rulings on certain issues:] I'd rather be called insane for all my days, but not be made evil in front of the Omnipresent even for a moment. (Eduyot 5:6 (English)) and יקוב הדין את ההר Let the law cut ...


10

Avot 3:2: רבי חנינא סגן הכהנים אומר, הוי מתפלל בשלומה של מלכותז, שאלמלא מוראה, איש את רעהו חיים בלעו Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive. (Translation: chabad.org)


10

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 Anthology on Exodus, 21:14 Rav Hirsch points out in Mishpatim 21:14 that it is a commandment to put a murderer to death and it is not allowed to show him "mercy". ...


9

The following is from an old project of mine. It is in rough chronological order, so I cut it off by the 15th century, but some Acharonim still managed to squeeze in. :) Classic Mussar Seforim The following is a select list of major works of mussar: Mishlei (Proverbs) – Shelomo HaMelech (King Solomon). The book of Mishlei is probably the first work ...


9

You ask this question on the Friday of parasha Tzav. In a dvar Torah on that parasha, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likkutei Sichot vol I, pp. 217-219, cited in R Sachs' Torah studies p. 159) comments on the verse Vayikra 6:6 אֵ֗שׁ תָּמִ֛יד תּוּקַ֥ד עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֖חַ לֹ֥א תִכְבֶֽה Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out and ...


9

As noted in this question, Ohr HaChaim to Shemot 23:2 writes that the 23rd judge must vote guilty, as he believes, even though that will result in the accused going free. He explains the reason behind this: if someone is being wrongly accused in such a way that the judges cannot find any reason to acquit, G-d will orchestrate matters such that all the ...


8

I heard a true story on the radio 2 weeks ago that still makes me visibly cringe and double over whenever I think of it. I bring this image to mind often, when I see a woman or begin to think about one, which promptly ends my reverie. This story is about an MMA fighter and can be found on google, with images. I will type this as a euphemism: A man was ...


8

I recently read in Rabbi Wolbe's name the suggestion that (if I recall the advice correctly) someone seeking to curb his sexual indulgence should work on his indulgence for food first, curtailing excess eating.


8

Might it also be possible that those being promoted are friendly with the boss or move in the same social circles? If I'm not mistaken, this also happens at non-Jewish companies. I'm always curious why people assume that behaviors demonstrated by Jews are automatically due to their Jewishness rather than to their humanness.


8

The Talmud (Yoma 4b) relates: ויקרא אל משה וידבר למה הקדים קריאה לדיבור? לימדה תורה דרך ארץ, שלא יאמר אדם דבר לחבירו אלא אם כן קורהו. מסייע ליה לרבי חנינא, דאמר רבי חנינא: לא יאמר אדם דבר לחבירו אלא אם כן קורהו. לאמר אמר רבי (מוסיא בר בריה דרבי מסיא משמיה דרבי מוסיא) +מסורת הש"ס: [מנסיא]+ רבה: מניין לאומר דבר לחבירו שהוא בבל יאמר, עד שיאמר לו לך אמור - ...


8

SBA quotes the Yismach Mosheh that a "ba'al nefesh" is someone for whom the things related to the soul are more important than physical things. Rabbi Gil Student also quotes some statements by Rashi and Rabbeinu Chanan'el to define a ba'al nefesh. Rabbi Micha Berger quotes the Nefesh HaChayim as well; see there. You can read the whole subject on Avodah here....


8

לב אליהו חכמה ומוסר עמ' רסב בשם החפץ חיים ז"ל: "נודע בשערים בעלה בשבתו עם זקני ארץ". התורה נקראת "אשת חיל", א"כ מי הוא הבעל של "אשת חיל? - הת"ח העוסק בתורה! והנה יש לך ת"ח כשמדברים אתו בד"ת מביא הרבה מאמרים של תנאים ואמוראים, וחושבים שהוא בקי בש"ס, אבל האמת הוא שגמרא זו הוא יודע, שהקצות מביאה, וגמרא זו הוא יודע מהנתיבות, והשלישית מהפני יהושע, כל זה ...


8

Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488 - 1575)states in Shulchan Aruch, (The Code of Jewish Law) that if a physician is able to heal a patient and refrains from doing so, this is considered murder. Yoreh Deah, 336:1 Rabbi Moshe Isserles (The Rema 1520 - 1572), writes on the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), that any act involving touching or moving a "gossess" (a term ...


8

The musar movement is mostly associated with Rabbi Yisra'el Salanter and his students. There is a lot that could be said about it, but I will write mostly about the more controversial aspects and differences in Jewish practice, rather than, for example, psychological insights. Rabbi Yisra'el advocated taking the time to learn works of musar. Already in his ...


7

"In a place where there are no men strive to be a man." Pirkei Avot 2:6. "Every single person is obligated to say, 'The world was created for my sake"' (Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5)." These two quotes don't exactly say to stand up for what you believe to be right, but they do suggest the vast importance of an individual's individual action. You can't say, leave ...


7

The Gmara in Yebamot (63a) says that an unmarried man is not a man:> א"ר אלעזר כל אדם שאין לו אשה אינו אדם שנאמר(בראשית ה, ב) זכר ונקבה בראם ויקרא את שמם אדם  And that a man without a woman is unhappy, unblessed and not good (Yebamut 62b): א"ר חנילאי כל אדם שאין לו אשה שרוי בלא שמחה בלא ברכה בלא טובה בלא שמחה דכתיב(דברים יד, כו) ושמחת אתה וביתך בלא ברכה ...


7

Shabbat 156a האי מאן דבמאדים יהי גבר אשיד דמא אמר רבי אשי אי אומנא אי גנבא אי טבחא אי מוהלא אמר רבה אנא במאדים הורי אמר אביי מר נמי עניש וקטיל ‘He who is born under Mars will be a shedder of blood. R. Ashi observed: Either a surgeon, a thief, a slaughterer, or a circumciser. Rabbah said: I was born under Mars. Abaye retorted: You too inflict ...


6

Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff has an excellent lecture on the subject, as does the bein din l'din blog. From a very narrowly halachic perspective, if authorities such as Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein allowed a married woman whose husband was infertile to receive donor sperm, it should be far simpler, at first glance, to allow the ...


6

I have seen several letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (such as this, this, this, and this) that say some variation of the following (אגרות קודש > כרך י > ג'שעט): וכפתגם כ"ק מו"ח אדמו"ר זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע שבימינו אלה הוא ע"ד אחד המטפס ועולה על הר משופע ביותר, שההולך במישור יכול לעמוד לאיזה משך זמן לנוח משא"כ ...


6

See here (search for the word Reishis) where the Lubavitcher Rebbe specifically instructs the Choson to learn the relevant section regarding marital behavior right before the wedding. This was written to many different ones over several years, and is regarded as part of the standard wedding preparations in Chabad now.


6

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook and Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld were practically polar opposites in terms of hashkafa (for example, in response to Rabbi Kook setting up the Eretz Yisrael Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi Sonnenfeld set up the Edah Hacharedit, refusing to follow the Chief Rabbinate) but greatly respected one another, nonetheless, and were even friends. ...


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