By Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz, delivered at the OU Israel Center.

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How to Give Mussar (Mishlei 12:14 and 12:18)
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We never know the results of our actions, for good or for bad. Often direct criticism is the wrong way to give tochacha (rebuke/chastisement). Rav Hirsch: Taking an Esav and trying to make him a Yaakov won’t make him a good Yaakov and won’t make him a good Esav either. Yitzchak tries to rectify his […]
The Discipline of Kindness and Healing (Mishlei 18:12)
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Disciplining a child is a sign of love, not disciplining a child is a sign of indifference. How does one provide תוכחה, rebuke? Chazal say (with respect to raising children) that we bring close with the right hand and repel with the left (only when the dominant relationship is love will the tochacha be effective. […]
The Marriage of Yitzchak and Rivka and Mishlei 18:22
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“מצא אשה מצא טוב ויפק רצון מה” This pasuk is a restatement in the positive of the pasuk in Bereshit which says – לא טוב היות האדם לבדו, that it is not good for Man to be alone. The Gemara discusses the difference between this verse and the verse in Kohelet: ומוצא אני מר ממות […]
Emunah and Bitachon
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Emunah is knowing Hashem runs the world and that everything which occurs is part of the Divine Plan. Bitachon is the internalization of this idea as it applies to one’s personal life. Vilna Gaon: The purpose of all mitzvot is to bring us to bitachon. Chavakuk reduced the mitzvot to one principle – “וצדיק באמונתו […]
Taking Responsibility for Your Life (Mishlei 19:3)
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Everyone has a basic personality type, some people are Simchat Torah people, some people have a Yom Kippur personality. However, Judaism wants us to go beyond our comfort zone and learn to incorporate the other personality traits. The Jewish calendar incorporates all of these into the first three weeks of the year. Cheshvan, a month […]