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Terutz Talk

We asked whether the Yetzer Hara is good or bad and cited seemingly contradictory sources. The correct approach was discussed by my wise friends in the comments section.

We asked if Moshiach is coming suddenly or gradually and cited contradictory sources. Rav Dessler explains that the process that will bring Moshiach is gradual but when the time comes - BOOM!! - it will happen suddenly.

We asked who we are referring to when we say at Mincha "ki shem Hashem ekra havu godel lelokeinu" - When I call out the name of Hashem YOU should ascribe greatness to our G-d. The Magen Avraham says that we are talking to the ANGELS. The problem is that the Gemara says that we no longer say a prayer before we go to the bathroom asking the angels to wait patiently outside , because we no longer have angels accompanying us. My chavrusa Yaakov Dov Slomnicki suggested that maybe for davening only we have angels nearby.

The whole point of Mussar is to scare people into following the rules. The discipline of Mussar has driven many people over the edge since it was invented by cold-hearted Misnagdim in the mid-nineteenth century.
Mussar as a Hashkafic perspective was invented to stem the flow of people who were defecting from "normative" Orthodoxy in favor of Chassidism or the Haskala.

where did THAT come from all of a sudden?!?!

I am not sure if that is true sholom, but our holy rebbe will probably know and might educate us all. I would say that increasing yirats shamayim is not a bad thing.

My sweet friend Sholom!!!

I don't think that I would be going out on a limb if I would say that you harbor negative feelings towards mussar.

I cannot cover the whole topic in the comments section of a blog but it does deserve at least a few words.

The whole book of Devarim is MUSSAR from the mouth of Moshe Rabbeinu.

Almost all of Nach is Mussar from the Prophets.

The Gemara is FILLED with Mussar as are the Rishonim and Acharonim - well before the nineteenth century. Shlomo Hamelech said "Hold on to Mussar - don't let go".

On a personal note I can telll you that any amount of Derech Eretz and propriety that I have is due to many years of intense mussar study. I don't think that I have gone of the edge and am sorry that there are those who did. But people go crazy in University , at the workplace and frankly anywhere else. That is the human condition - we are liable to snap at any moment.

I truly believe that Mussar gives one the tools to maintain positive mental health.

With deep friendship

Elchanan ben Henna Miriam

in response to the topic of the original post, id like to ask:

what about shabbat? do the malachei hashareit not come home with us from shul anymore? are we just singing the song because thats our minhag nowadays?

i personally don't think so. i think we do have malachim with us.
not just at davening times, but maybe not with us 24 hours a day.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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