Thursday, November 27, 2014

War was unnecessary

Hi,

"Were it not for the sin of the Golden Calf, the inhabitants of the Land of Israel would have been reconciled with the People of Israel, for the name of Gd called upon them would have aroused awe. No war would have been necessary, and the [Divine] influence would have proceeded peacefully as in the Days of Messiah."

(Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, Orot mei'Ofel: HaMilchamah 4, Naor translation)

Have a good day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Only in Israel

Hi,

"A Jew cannot be devoted and faithful to his thoughts and ideas and imaginings outside Israel, as he can in Israel. Manifestations of sanctity, on every level, are purest in Israel."

(Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, Orot mei'Ofel 4)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life Goals of Maimonides

Hi,

"One who follows a healthy lifestyle is not following a good path if his goal is only to have his body complete, and his children doing his work and supporting him. Rather, his goal should be to have a complete and strong body so his spirit will be straight, in order to know Gd. One cannot understand and examine wisdoms when he is hungry or ill or one of his limbs aches. And his goal should be that his children might become sages and leaders in Israel…"

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Deiot 3:3)

Have a great day,
Mordechai


Monday, November 24, 2014

In praise of silence

Hi,

"One should always practice great silence. He should speak only words of wisdom or words he needs for the sake of his existence. They said that Rav, student of Rabbeinu haKadosh, never spoke empty speech – and this is the speech of most people… Thus the sages instructed (Pirkei Avot 1:17), 'One who increases words introduces sin,' and 'I have found nothing better for a body than silence.'… (Avot d'Rabbi Natan I 22)"

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Deiot 2:4)

Have a good day,
Mordechai

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Question Yourself

Hi,

"Do not let your own lips shame you, do not let your own mouth disgrace you, do not let your own lips curse you, do not let your own teeth embarrass you, and do not bow to your own words. As Proverbs 6:2 says, 'You have stumbled in the declarations of your own mouth.'"

(Kallah Rabti 4:17)

Have a good day,
Mordechai

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Go to a spiritual healer...

Hi,

"Those who are physically ill taste the bitter as sweet and the sweet as bitter. Some ill people desire and long for inedible foods, like dust and charcoal, and despise good foods like bread and meat, all according to the particular illness. So, too, people whose spirits are ill desire and love bad traits, and despise the good path and are too lazy to follow it, and they find it very heavy, due to their illness… 

"They should go to sages who are healers of spirits, and they will heal their illness by teaching them good traits, until they bring them back to the good path…"

(Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Deiot 2:1)

המצפה לישועה,
Mordechai

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Risking the lives of soldiers to spare civilians on the other side

Hi,

Thoughts on war:

Rabbi Avraham Shapira, War and Ethics, Techumin 4, pg. 182:
When there is no substantive risk to our soldiers, there is no permission to strike lives or property. However, when there is a discernible risk, one must remember that it is not only a matter of weighing one unit opposite a civilian population on the scale. The loss of one unit, or part of it, can affect the entire battle…

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, Ethics and War, Techumin 4, pg. 185:
The price [of war] is also paid by the enemy, who is also graced with the Divine image, and one should grieve whenever Gd's creations drown in the sea. On this point, the issue of quantity is meaningful, and one certainly must weigh the justifications for harming many in order to save an individual.

Hoping for better news,
Mordechai