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The Right Kind of Worries
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Anxiety due to worldly events versus anxiety over the proper fulfillment of one’s spiritual responsibilities. Psychological obsession contrasted with a preoccupation with doing mitzvos correctly. Rambam’s perspective on those who cling to Hashem and are willing to forego working towards a natural means of sustenance.   Relation to the brachos of Barech Aleinu and Al HaTzadikim. […]
Fear of Hashem vs. All Other Fears
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Insights into our experience of Yiras Hashem versus other types of fear. Channeling earthly enjoyments towards spiritual ends, for oneg Shabbos, simchas Purim and the like. That, contrasted with the requirements for “simcha.” Self-actualization through becoming similar to Hashem. The pathway of Yiras Hashem leading to bitachon which leads to simcha. Discussion of making monetary calculations before deciding to have […]
The Many Traps of Laziness
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A contrast of people’s alacrity in pursuing their livelihood with the energy expended pursuing Torah and mitzvos. Zerizus is a characteristic that you generate, which leads to excitement and appetite for Torah and mitzvos.  In a state of laziness, there is no burning desire for ruchnius.  Laziness and depression go hand in hand.  Zerizus as […]
The Sinner’s Perspective on his Sins
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Sefer Bais HaLevi on the levels of learning and the amount of siyata dishmaya required to attain each one.  Understanding Torah contrasted with the ability to organize, navigate, and remember the Torah. Discussion of the desensitizing that has occurred to frum people and their views of issurei arayos.  The infinite reward for mitzvos, versus the […]
Requirements for Success in Learning
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A talmid chochom never concludes that he understands enough, and never tires of getting guidance.  Evilim are the opposite.   The severity of poskining shailahs when unfit, even if the unfitness is only for that particularly high level of shailah. Insight into the first and second letters in Megillas Esther and the relationship between wealthy […]
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 […]