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187. Rebuke
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29:15 If one sees that a friend has sinned or is pursuing an improper path, he is obligated to try to return him to the proper way as per Leviticus 19:17, “You shall surely rebuke your friend.” A person should only be rebuked in private and in a calm, gentle tone. (If he is sinning […]
186. Hating Others
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29:13 If one hates a fellow Jew in his heart, he violates a Torah prohibition (Leviticus 19:17). If someone is wronged by another person, he should not despise him and seethe silently as we see wicked people do in II Samuel 13:22, “Avshalom did not talk to Amnon, neither good nor bad, because Avshalom hated […]
185. Loving Others
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29:11 It is a mitzvah to cling to Torah scholars in order to learn from their ways. The Torah says (Deut. 10:20) “Cling to Him” (i.e., God). Since this is a physical impossibility, the Talmud (Kesubos 111b) understands this to mean that a man should try to marry the daughter of a Torah scholar, marry […]
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 […]