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When Tochachah Seems to Bounce Right Off
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Different types of tzadikim: those who strive to make talmidei chachomim and those who strive to make Yerei Shomayim.  Types of tochachah-givers. Insight into why some people’s real teshuvah is very short-lived.    A positive view of being an “Am k’shei oref.”  Differing interpretations of why Klal Yisroel is so reluctant to accept correction.  Analysis […]
Too Much Chatter?
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Talking too much, even positive speech, can get one into trouble.  The capacity to speak is much greater than the capacity to think through the consequences and logic of what we say.   Differences between men’s and women’s relationship to speech.   Importance of writing seforim. Citations: In addition to the commentary of the Biur […]
Sharing Bad News
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Sharing general bad news versus mentioning someone’s passing.  Our inability to reckon the tragic loss of the niftar (from our perspective) with the true gain to the neshama of being closer to Hashem, can lead to a “dibah ra’ah”.  Contrast with non-death suffering. Discussion of telling a patient the full scope of his terminal illness.  […]
The Prohibition of Relating a Death
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Insight into the mourning status of a person unaware that he has suffered a loss.  Not informing of a person’s passing unless asked; communicating only via implication.  What is this prohibition is about?  Possible leniencies and methods of sharing the desired information.  Mentioning negative things unrelated to a person’s passing.  Motsi dibah versus motsi dvar […]
No Pain No Gain?
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Lasting teshuvah and personality improvement only occur through heavy duty internal work, and that always causes pain.  Bad habits, bad middos, and aveiros change how you think and react – and undoing that is uncomfortable.  Discussion of the Gemara’s insistence that a person try to avoid speaking about disastrous events directly.  Nuances in the prohibition […]
Knowing and Remembering Torah
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The importance of having the necessary background knowledge in order to learn Torah.  The obligation of a Rebbe to explain repeatedly to one whose capacity for understanding is limited.  The obligation to “fix” a wayward Talmid.  The importance of a Rav treating his talmidim properly, and for a talmid to exert himself to make sure […]
Teshuvah Insights from Dovid HaMelech
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The confession of Dovid HaMelech when confronted by Noson HaNovi. When saying vidui, why don’t we use just the language that matches the severity of our violation, and not include the other terms for sin which imply some other, currently irrelevant level of transgression?  Discussion of the intentional quality of shogeg. A failure of morality, […]
Silence and Action, Planning and Doing
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The power of a person’s thoughts and being totally committed to an idea.  The danger of articulating one’s intentions to do good things.  Rational and supernatural barriers between planning and doing.  Differences between the machinations of the internal yetzer hara and the external ma’aseh Soton. Citations: In addition to the Biur HaGra, this shiur references […]
An Obligation to Curse and Bless
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The concept of uttering a curse or blessing after mentioning the name of a rasha or tzadik, respectively.  Consequences in Hilchos Krias Megillah.  Prohibition of using a rasha’s name for one’s children.  Using the term “zichrono livracha” for live people. Citations:  This shiur references Mishnah Yoma 3:11, Tosefta Ta’anis 3:8, Maseches Sofrim 14:3, Esther Rabbah […]