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12 votes
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Bish'vili nivra ha'olam/Anochi afar Papers

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): ...
Oliver's user avatar
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11 votes
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Learning Alei Shur Part I or II first?

Ultimately it boils down to what subject matter you find most interesting. The first cheilek is largely instructive in how best to achieve self growth whilst the second cheiliek goes into more detail ...
Dov's user avatar
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10 votes

Examples of Rabbis who had strong disagreements and were amicable

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, ...
Harel13's user avatar
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9 votes
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How should the 23rd judge vote?

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 ...
Joel K's user avatar
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9 votes

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 ...
Dov's user avatar
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8 votes

What exactly is the Mussar movement and how does it differ from mainstream Judaism?

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 ...
b a's user avatar
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7 votes

Is it good to engage in exceptional cases where it is permissible to do a typically forbidden action to which one has a taivah for

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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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7 votes

When is it acceptable to be impolite or rude

No it is never ok to be rude. As Jews, we have to set the standard and example for others. Indeed, this was the difference between Yaakov and Eisav. The Zohar on Parshas Toldos writes: וַיַּעַשׂ גַּם ...
Dov's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is the sefer אור הצפון available?

As this publication has been out of print for several years, I am in the midst of its digitization. We will also be uploading it uploading to Sefaria.org, as well as making it available for general ...
Mordechai's user avatar
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6 votes
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Mussar seforim written by gentiles

In Benjamin Franklin's diary (see pg 38, 39), there is a discussion of making a weekly chart where each row is one of 13 virtues, and each column is a day of the week. That gives you a box for how you ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
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6 votes
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Mussar work by Chacham Ovadia

The only works actually written by R. Ovadia that contain mussar are: Anaf Etz Avot (anthology of commentaries/stories on Tractate Avot Me’or Israel vol. 3 (collection of sermons and eulogies) ...
Oliver's user avatar
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6 votes

How should the 23rd judge vote?

Sanhedrin 17a (translation modified from Sefaria): אמר רב כהנא סנהדרי שראו כולן לחובה פוטרין אותו מ"ט כיון דגמירי הלנת דין למעבד ליה זכותא והני תו לא חזו ליה Rav Kahana says: In a Sanhedrin ...
b a's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is improving one's middot a mitzvah?

Sefer Hachinuch Mitsva 611 מצוה ללכת ולהדמות בדרכי השם יתברך - שנצטוינו לעשות כל מעשינו בדרך הישר והטוב בכל כחנו, ולהטות כל דברינו אשר בינינו ובין זולתנו, על דרך החסד והרחמים, כאשר ידענו מתורתנו שזהו ...
kouty's user avatar
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6 votes
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Rabbi Yaron Reuven - Severe torture in gehinnom

There is a strong rabbinic mainstream consensus who would tell you to stay far, far away from him and his ideas. (Ask Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom -- who has ...
Shalom's user avatar
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5 votes

Definition of Baal Nefesh

Jastrow demonstrates (מר IV, p. 834) through a number of Talmudic sources that the term was popular during the Second Commonwealth and the meaning is, specially in this construct, "master over his ...
Oliver's user avatar
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5 votes

The Orchos Tzaddikim in Shaar HaSimcha: What does Purim have to do with remembering the Exodus?

In the commentary of Alei Orach on Orchos Tzadikim, he suggests: 1 - "כולם" is referring to all but Purim. 2 - On Purim we accepted the Torah voluntarily, "קימו וקיבלו היהודים" which was the ultimate ...
פרי זהב's user avatar
5 votes
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Need to cite sources

(In contrast with MY,) there is no clear requirement to cite sources. However, there are very important reasons to do so. We read in Pirkei Avot 6:6: והתורה נקנית בארבעים ושמונה דברים, ואלו הן: [...] ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
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5 votes
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What defines a person who is circumcised "of the heart"?

This is the subject of the fourth discourse of the the Alter Rebbe in the fourth section of the Tanya called Igeret HaKodesh. He explains that process of circumcising the heart is to remove ones ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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5 votes

Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz source of quote

According to Aish, the quote comes from Rabbi Yerucham's Even Sapir, pg. 72: "אמר הגאון רבי ירוחם ממיר (בספר 'אבן ספיר' עמוד ע"ב): "אוי לו לאדם שאינו מכיר ליקויי נפשו, שהרי אינו יודע ...
Harel13's user avatar
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5 votes

Importance of coming on time for davening

I once heard a true story (it might have been in one of Rabbi Paysach Krohn's books). There was this man who came late every day to shul. One day the Rabbi asked him, "I can see that you come to ...
Moz's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is good mussar one should learn daily?

There are several options as far as daily mussar learning Mesilas Yesharim - To quote Rav Wolbe zt"l (Alei Shur, Vol 1, perek 12, 'Limmud Mussar'): המסילת ישרים מגדיר את כל המדות הדרושות לנו, ...
Dov's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is being on welfare if you can work against the will of Hashem?

Your question cited Christian Scripture in support of your point -- that's not going to support it from this audience, and we'd ask you not to bring that here. (This site has accepted questions asking ...
Shalom's user avatar
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5 votes

When is it acceptable to be impolite or rude

The Ramban advises in his Iggeres Haramban (Sefaria translation taken from here): Accustom yourself to always speak all of your words calmly, to every man and at every time. In doing so you will ...
ElonMusk's user avatar
  • 477
4 votes

Is the sefer אור הצפון available?

Here are the links to sections 1, 3, 4, and 5 1: http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/vl/tohen.asp?id=304 2: Anyone got any idea where this is? 3: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/31561 4: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/...
midwesteryid's user avatar
4 votes

Downloading a book when you've already bought a physical copy

I've heard from many Rabbis, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky and Rabbi Tuvya Goldstein amongst them, the same idea about copyright laws. They said this about musical media and computer programs, but would ...
user6591's user avatar
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4 votes
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Source for skipping the first Shaar of Chovos HaLevavos

One 18th century source for this is the Noda BiYehudah (Mahadura Kamma OH 35): אמנם ילמוד דברי תורה שיש בהם ממש...וג"כ ספרי מוסר חובת הלבבות מן אחר שער היחוד עד גמירא However, a person should ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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4 votes

How to approach teaching Jewish ethics morality for a 12 year old?

Syllabus Morasha has a very nice collection of educational resources which works well with older children (I tried it with mine). Amongst their many topics, they have a number related to ethics and ...
mbloch's user avatar
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4 votes

What defines a person who is circumcised "of the heart"?

Circumcising the heart is the example given by Ibn Ezra in his commentary to Exodus 20:1 of a commandment that doesn't seem to make sense: וחלילה חלילה שתהיה מצוה אחת מהן מכחשת שקול הדעת רק אנחנו ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes
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By what standards does Judaism hold infants accountable for sin?

I think your question is based on an inaccurate assumption. You are assuming that these Amalekite children are being killed-punished- for the sins of their ancestors. That's not 100% correct. In ...
Binyomin's user avatar
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4 votes

Where can I find the Ramban's Letter in PDF?

There are several versions on Hebrewbooks. https://hebrewbooks.org/50908 https://hebrewbooks.org/60733 https://hebrewbooks.org/36118 If you want it plain without the additional biurim (explanations / ...
Dov's user avatar
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