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184. Bad Influences
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29:9 We should not argue over the opportunity to perform a mitzvah, such as who will lead the prayer service or receive an aliyah, etc. An example is laid out for us in the Talmud (Yoma 39a) regarding the showbread, which is a mitzvah for the kohanim to eat. The humble would hold themselves back, […]
183. The Opposite Extreme
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29:7 A person might think that, since envy, lust, a need for honor and the rest are so horrible, that he should go to the other extreme and shun meat, wine, marital relations, a nice home and clothes in favor of a life of sackcloth. This is also not a good idea and is equally […]
182. Silence
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29:5 Silence is a good trait for a person to cultivate. One should only speak about Torah or necessary matters. Even when it comes to his basic neccessities, he should not talk more than necessary. Pirkei Avos (1:17) tells us, “’Talking too much leads one to sin” and “nothing is better for a person than […]
181. Ego and Anger
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29:3 Ego is terrible quality that one may not have even in small amounts. A person must train himself to be humble as the Sages say in Pirkei Avos (4:4), “Be exceedingly humble.” How does one train himself to be humble? Always speak softly. Tilt your head so you’re looking down but direct the thoughts […]
180. Character Traits
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29:1 Every individual has a different temperament. Some are grouchy and always angry, while others are calm and rarely get upset. Some people are full of themselves while others are very humble. Some are so obsessed with physical pleasure that they can never be satisfied while others barely desire even the most basic needs. Some […]
179. A Dropped Torah
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28:12 If a Torah scroll falls from a person’s hand, even if it is covered by its mantle, he should fast. The practice is for those who witness this to also fast. 28:13 One may only write a Biblical verse (even three letters – Mishnah Brurah 32:20) on a ruled line. Some opinions prohibit writing […]
178. Buying Religious Articles from a Non-Jew
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28:10 A person who destroys holy books violates the negative commandment, “Do not do so to Hashem your God” (Deuteronomy 12:4). We must correct bookbinders who glue pages from holy texts inside the covers of other books. Care should also be taken when giving old seforim to non-Jewish bookbinders for repair. One should remove the […]
177. Using a Sefer for One’s Own Purposes
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28:8 One should not make a cover for a sacred item out of something that was used for secular purposes. (One may do so for an object of a mitzvah that does not possess inherent holiness, e.g. a tallis bag. The Magen Avraham permits it in the case of a holy object providing that the […]
176. Mistreating Seforim
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28:6 One may not throw Biblical books, nor books of halacha or aggadah. Similarly, one may not place them upside down. If one finds a sefer upside down, he should right it. 28:7 One may not urinate in the presence of holy books. In case of great need, he should at least ensure that the […]
175. Holy Texts
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28:4 One may not sit on a bench with a holy book unless it is placed on something a handbreadth high (about 3.5 inches). One may certainly not place holy books on the ground. If one is holding a sefer in his lap, he may not lean on it. If need be, one may sit […]