Correcting Selfishness

When you arrive in the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, Iwill place a tzora’as affliction upon a house in the land of yourpossession.” (Leviticus 14:34) The last of the various forms of tzora’as is that which affects homes. Thatform of tzora’as was

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Sarah Imeinu

A great prophetess, Sarah was the first Matriarch of the Jewish People. She left her birthplace in Mesopotamia with her husband Abraham and traveled to Israel[i]. Due to her startling beauty, she was taken hostage on two occasions. In both instances, miraculous events led to her release. Incredibly,

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Ruth

R Ruth was a Moabite princess who married a Jew.  After her husband died, Ruth chose to become Jewish and to move to Israel with Naomi, her mother-in-law.  Ruth later married Boaz, the leader of the Jewish people. Their great-grandson was King David. Her dedication to G-d and Judaism has made

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Character Development- Nature vs Nuture

Author: Rabbi Mark Spiro Got Midot? Pronunciation – mE-dOt Usage – Noun Etymology – Hebrew 1: Measurements or dimensions 2: Character – the measure of who you are as a person Explore the Jewish approach to developing the most essential character traits for marriage, parenting, leadership in business, and a meaningful

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OLAM CHESED YIBANEH

-1OLAM CHESED YIBANEH PART ONE It is a fundamental tenet of Judaism that Hashem is all-powerful, He has no needs. So why did He create the world – what benefit could He derive from it? The Mesillas Yesharim answers that the only possible answer to this question

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Avraham and the Angels

Our Patriarchs are each shown in the Torah as doing one specific thing that most typified who they were. With Avraham, it was taking in guests—he was a man who loved kindness and used it to bring people closer to G-d. With Yitzhak, it was “talking in

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The Destruction of Sodom

Breishit 18 The Destruction of Sodom : Kindness and Anti-Kindness   (Ch 19) Ask: What was the sin of Sodom that was so bad that they deserved to be destroyed? After reading the story of Sodom’s destruction, people will generally answer that their sin was sexual perversion. The word

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Mining the Mitzvah

Author: Sefer Ahavas Chesed Loving Kindness Day 128 – Mining the Mitzvah SEFER AHAVAS CHESED — Part III Chapter I As much as hachnasas orchim defines a Jew, it defines a Jewish community. In the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah Siman 256, Se’if Katan 1, in the name of the Mordechai), the principle is established that hachnasas orchim is

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Loving Kindness

Day 72 – One and All SEFER AHAVAS CHESED — Part II Chapter XIV footnotes /XV  A person who cannot afford to purchase a tallisis exempt from the requirement of wearing one — but who would take advantage of this exemption? What man would want to arrive in the

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Close Calls

Author: Sefer Ahavas Chesed Day 35 – Close Calls SEFER AHAVAS CHESED – Part II Chapter IX Most people envision charity as something one gives to strangers. It seems especially laudable to share one’s money with people outside one’s circle of family and friends. Certainly, supporting charitable

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With Open Eyes

Author: Sefer Ahavas Chesed Day 33 – With Open Eyes SEFER AHAVAS CHESED – Part II Chapter IX footnotes Wherever the potential is greatest for a Jew’s neshamah to fully blossom, the yetzer hara is there, planting spiritual weeds to undermine its growth. Since chesed is the

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National Identity

Author: Sefer Ahavas Chesed SEFER AHAVAS CHESED – Part II Chapter VII To a Jew, compassion for others is not just a trait. It is an identity. Chesed is one of the fundamental components of the Jewish heart, and if a heart is devoid of this component,

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Honoring Deceased Parents

Author: Sefer Ahavas Chesed Day 76 – A Monumental Act SEFER AHAVAS CHESED — Part II Chapter XV footnotes When parents pass into the Next World, the child’s ability to honor and serve them does not disappear. Especially in the week and month following a parent’s passing — a

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Understanding Chesed through Kabalah

The Power of Light:  A Deeper Look at Kindness and Becoming a True Giver 1.      Kabblah:  To study the wisdom that is received 2.      The “hidden Wisdom” of Jewish mysticism is acquired with the understanding that there are pre-requisites; character perfection, awareness of G-d, basic knowledge of how we need to

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The Love of Kindness

“Grant truth to Jacob, kindness to Abraham, as you swore to our forefathers from ancient times.”(Micha 7:20) In the first, second, fourth, and fifth years of the seven-year Shmitah cycle, Jews living in Israel were commanded to separate a tenth of their crops and bring them to

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The Generous Boss

Author: Sefer Ahavas Chesed Day 10 – The Generous Boss SEFER AHAVAS CHESED – Part II Chapter IV footnotes A quick glance at the sky, the backyard, even the palm of a person’s hand, is enough to testify to Hashem’s kindness. If a Jew is to emulate

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Anger: Perek 5 Mishna 14

There are four types of temperament amongst people: (1) A person who is easily angered and easily appeased – his gain is offset by his loss; (2) A person who is difficult to anger and difficult to appease – his loss is offset by his gain; (3)

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Courage

What is courage?  The year is 1929.  It’s Friday, August 23rd.  The Grand Mufti is preaching to a packed crowd of worshippers on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.  He is fomenting them into a boiling cauldron of hate, viciousness and cruelty. Finally, he

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Humility

 It was said about my teacher, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg of blessed memory, that he would often be invited to address Jewish organizations, many of whose religious outlooks differed greatly from his own. He rarely turned down such offers – though the results were often contentious to say

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Talmud Torah and Humility

“And God spoke to Moses in the Sinai desert”: Anyone who does not make himself hefker (ownerless) like the desert cannot acquire wisdom or Torah, and therefore it says, “…in the Sinai desert.” (Midrash – Bamidbar Rabba 1:7) A hefker object is one of such little value to its owner that he formally

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Humility Linked to Success

Name recognition is the goal of every politician this election season — marketing yourself and your achievements in a positive, assertive way is how you succeed in life, right? Not necessarily, according to a study by Baylor University in Texas. “If you are humbled by something, some would think

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