13

The statement of Maimonides to which you refer is from his Yad Hachazaka, Repentence [or: Return] chapter 3. There he writes (in my own loose translation): Everyone has merits and sins. Someone whose merits are more than his sins is a tzadik. Someone whose sins are more than his merits is a rasha. Half and half, he's a benoni [=middle person]. So, ...


11

Leviticus 19:32 מִפְּנֵי שֵׂיבָה תָּקוּם, וְהָדַרְתָּ פְּנֵי זָקֵן Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man The Talmud (Kiddushin 32b) understands this to refer (in addition to the elderly) to any Torah scholar, and so it is codified in Shulchan Arukh (YD 244:1) that one must stand to honor a Torah scholar who passes ...


10

The Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch, Rabbi Shneur Zalman, explains in the beginning of Tanya that if you take the Rambam's words (which are also Rashi and Tosfos' words) at face value, they create several contradictions. First, they contradict Rabba, who called himself a beinoni despite the fact that he never stopped learning, to the extent that the Angel of ...


8

Rashi on Numbers 22:5, s.v. "Eretz Benei Amo" ("the land of his people"), says Balaam was a special case: ואם תאמר מפני מה השרה הקב"ה שכינתו על גוי רשע, כדי שלא יהא פתחון פה לאומות לומר אלו היו לנו נביאים חזרנו למוטב, העמיד להם נביאים והם פרצו גדר העולם, שבתחלה היו גדורים בעריות וזה נתן להם עצה להפקיר עצמן לזנות:‏ If you ask, “Why did God bestow ...


8

Yes. Off the tip of my tongue, I don't know where it says that black and white (although I believe it does), but see Likkutei Torah (from the same author): הנה נודע שנשמת משה רבינו עליו השלום היתה מבחינת אצילות וכן נשמת אברהם והיינו שבמשה רבע"ה ובאברהם היה מאיר בהם אצילות בבחינת גילוי למטה It is known that the soul of Moshe Rabeinu Alav Hashalom was ...


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

Rav Ozer Alport in his Parsha Potpourri Points to Ponder addresses this issue: Question: How was Lot able to intercede in order to save one of the cities (Tzo'ar) from destruction (19:18-22) when Avrohom, who was even greater and who argued even more on their behalf, was unable to do so? (Yad Yechezkel, Ayeles HaShachar, Derech Sicha) Answer: 1) ...


8

There are a couple sources that indicate that Yishmael was a tzaddik at certain points in his life. Rashi to Breishit 25:17 notes that the the word ויגוע is only used by tzaddikim, and is used here to refer to Yishmael at the end of his life. ויגוע: לא נאמרה גויעה אלא בצדיקים:‏ Also, Rashi on 21:17 quotes a midrash where the angels are trying to ...


8

There are a whole bunch of Poskim that answer this question online. Rav Eliezer Altshuler says that people go to Kivrei Tzadikim to pray, which is always allowed, and that there are different customs about visiting them on Chol Hamoed and during the month of Nissan in general. Rav Uziel Eliyahu says that adding a visit/prayer at Kivrei Tzadikim during a ...


7

Rashi on Rosh Hashana 17b says: צדיק - במשפט אמת. חסיד - נכנס לפנים מן השורה.‏ Tzaddik - with true justice. Chassid - goes beyond the basic boundary of the law. So it seems that a Tzaddik keeps all the appropriate rules, but a Chassid goes beyond the letter of the law to do extra good. Interestingly, in Kallah Rabbati (5:2 or in some versions 8:...


7

See Niddah 17a and Tosafos there ד"ה שורפן, which contrasts the tzaddik and the chassid as far as how they dispose of their fingernail cuttings (which can harm others). The tzaddik does what is necessary (in this case, burying the cuttings), while the chassid goes beyond that - burning them - to make absolutely certain that no such harm will occur, even ...


6

According to this article in Hamodia he left abruptly because another rabbi said something disparaging about the Ba'al Shem Tov, and he felt he couldn't live in the same city as that rabbi. The Baba Sali settled at first in Yavneh, but after a certain Rav there made a disrespectful statement about the Baal Shem Tov, he packed his bags the very same day ...


6

To begin with, Saul only ordered the execution of Achimelekh's Beit Av( Samuel I 22:16): ויאמר המלך, מות תמות אחימלך: אתה, וכל-בית אביך And the king said: 'Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house.' The massacre at Nov was Doeg's own initiative( ibid. 22:18-19): ויאמר המלך, לדויג (לדואג), סב אתה, ופגע בכהנים; ויסב דויג (...


6

The "yeshu hanotzri" described by the uncensored Talmud is very much a no-goodnik. It is fair game to question which of those passages were intended literally, or referred to which character, or were intended as a way of disparaging people from moving to an emerging religion that was competing with rabbinic Judaism at the time. (The comments may have been ...


6

Sadikim are people who follow everything that is necessary in the law. Hasidim are people who follow the law perfectly, but also go above and beyond what the law requires. Source: Messilat Yesharim (see the chapters with these titles)


6

The source of the Rambam's ruling is Taanis 14b: אמר ר' אלעזר אין אדם חשוב רשאי ליפול על פניו אלא אם כן נענה כיהושע בן נון שנאמר (יהושע ז, י) ויאמר ה' אל יהושע קום לך למה זה אתה נופל על פניך R. Elazar said: A important person should not fall upon his face unless he is confident that he will be answered like Yehoshua, as it is written, And the Lord ...


6

Related: For better understanding between Jews and Christians, some reading material I think there is an important distinction to be made between the Jesus(es) that Christians believe in and the real historical Jesus. The sources available to us are highly questionable in terms of veracity. The "gospels" were written by people who never met Jesus, and ...


6

From the introduction of the Meshech Chochma to sefer Shemos: וא״כ איך צוה השם שיאמינו לעולם במשה הא הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים ואין הידיעה מכרחת הבחירה ושמא יבחר משה אחר זה חלילה להוסיף מדעתו ועל כרחין שהשי״ת שלל ממנו הבחירה לגמרי ונשאר מוכרח כמלאכים Meaning: How could it be that the Jewish people were commanded to believe in Moshe ...


6

As explained at length in the first part of Tanya, everybody can avoid sin, and never actually sin, no matter the circumstances of their birth or their past behavior. However, only a minority of people can have no evil inclination. Most who achieve that level are born with the ability to achieve it. Some can receive it later as a gift for all their efforts. ...


6

Those exact words do not appear. However, in Taanis 23a, there is a braissa that presents the idea: תנו רבנן מה שלחו בני לשכת הגזית לחוני המעגל (איוב כב, כח) ותגזר אומר ויקם לך ועל דרכיך נגה אור ותגזר אומר אתה גזרת מלמטה והקדוש ברוך הוא מקיים מאמרך מלמעלה The rabbis taught: What was the word which the Sanhedrin sitting in the chamber of marble sent ...


6

The OP states: "...He created this world only to bestow good on us." 1) If G-d is infinite and 2) He can give infinitely 3) And He created the world in order to bestow good upon us... Then G-d by definition would want to bestow all manner of good upon us. If He missed out on giving us a type of goodness, then G-d would be deficient. But G-d is not ...


6

The commentaries there give various explanations. Rashi explains (there) that it refers to an excess of a normally positive trait, as by Shaul who displayed excessive compassion on those for whom compassion was inappropriate. Lekah Tov explains that this refers to recklessly giving away all one's money to charity. Based on Sotah (21b), Sefer Hassidim (ed. ...


6

For Tannaim and Ammoraim, see Erkhei Tannaim V'Amoraim by R. Yehuda ben Kloinmus of Speyers (Vol. I), (Vol. II). It includes an alphabetical list of all the Tannaim and Amoraim, and an examination of each one's teachings. Tol'dot Tannaim V'amoraim by R. Aharon Heiman. Another alphabetical listing. (Vol. I), (Vol. II), (Vol. III). For more general listings, ...


5

"Someone who really cares about their soul"; a "soul man", if you will. Often "the average Joe need not be stringent about this, but a soul man should be." If I'm not mistaken, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein occcasionally does rank stringencies, and I think he says "appropriate for anyone G-d fearing" is stronger than "appropriate for any soul man."


5

The Rambam is referencing a Gemara (Megillah 22b) which says: אמר רבי אלעזר, אין אדם חשוב רשאי ליפול על פניו אלא אם כן נענה כיהושע בן נון, דכתיב +יהושע ז:י+ ויאמר ה' אל יהושע קם לך [למה זה אתה נפל על פניך]‏ Rabbi Elazar said: An important person is not allowed to fall on his face unless he is [sure to be] answered like Yehoshua bin Nun, as it ...


5

here's one reason from Rabeinu Bachye in Chovos Halevavos gate 4. If one asks: Behold we see some tzadikim (very righteous people) which do not receive their livelihood except after hard and strenuous toil, while many transgressors are at ease, living a good, pleasant life? We will say: The prophets and the chasidim already investigated this ...


5

Yes, one attaches oneself to G-d, but that is not in conflict with the comment of Rabbi Nachman. A better translation would be: Everyone needs to intend during their prayer, that he will bind himself to the Saints of the generation, because every Saint that is in the generation is the aspect of Moshe/Moshiach, like we find that the Saints call each other ...


5

Ravina himself asks this question to R. Hama Bar Buzi who suggested this, as recorded in Bava Batra (16b). Rav Hama bar Buzi answered that we only say this when the term gevia and asifa are both used. In the case of the flood, the term asifa is not used.


4

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 desire". The eminent Talmudic scholar, Prof. Saul Lieberman, concurred with Jastrow's translation (Qiryat Sefer, 1937 p. 223).


4

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Toras Menachem vol. 31 page 184) explains this statement of the Zohar at length based on his father's commentary (Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Shnuerson - Likkutey Levi Yitzchok, Haaros Lesefer HaZohar Shmos-Devorim pg. 46). What comes out of the discussion is that there is one level of Tzadik attained simply by virtue of having a bris ("ועמך ...


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