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News Item 320. Mishlei 18-05 (Favoritism)

A new proverb was posted to the Mishlei section on Sunday, May 28.
It teaches that a person who is in a position of power, whether it be a judge, employer, parent, or teacher should be careful about allowing his natural instinct to make unconscious judgments about others. Before he has had a chance to make a considered evaluation he may be inclined to favor some people and disfavor others.
The tendency to show favoritism may be so subtle that he doesn’t even realize it. He may fool himself into believing that he is justifiably rewarding good behavior and discouraging bad behavior by means of his body language, his smile, and his choice of words.
However, those who look to his favor will be watching him very carefully for any sign of prejudice, whether it is justified or not. If he is not careful he will be achieving an effect that is the opposite of what he was hoping for.
Anyone in a position of authority is advised to cultivate a carefully managed neutral attitude so that those dependent upon his fairness will feel that justice is being done and their honest efforts to earn his goodwill have been rewarded.

News Item 319. Mishlei 18-04 (Words)

A new proverb was posted on Wednesday May 24.
People often underestimate the significance of the words spoken by a wise man. Mishlei encourages the listener to think carefully into the implications of what this man has said. There may great depth to his words of wisdom and the listener should pay special attention to the important lessons that may lie below the surface. Even the choice of words used by the wise man deserve study.
The listener should be aware that the man of wisdom is able to draw upon an unending stream of Torah knowledge and everything he says reflects what he has absorbed and thought about over the years.

News Item 318. Mishlei 18-03 (Dishonor)

A new proverb was posted to the Mishlei section on Wednesday, May 17.
The way a person treats others has a direct effect on his own character. Thus, the Mishnah teaches that one who honors others is himself worthy of honor (Avos 4, 1). The reverse effect is also true. A person who disrespects others stamps himself with dishonor and reveals himself to be a wicked person (רָשָׁע) .

News Item 317. Mishlei 18-02 - Self-Complacency

A new proverb was posted to the Mishlei section on Erev Shabbos, Parshas Emor. 

Fools who think highly of themselves are not motivated to learn from others. They are so pleased with what they have already achieved that they have no interest in admitting that there is some insight or wisdom they don’t already know.

On the other hand, such people enjoy drawing attention to themselves by saying whatever happens to be on their mind. They assume that others will be impressed by their knowledge.

News Item 316. Mizmor 119-049 (Zayin) - Time


The second pasuk of the Zayin segment (119:50) of Mizmor 119 was posted on Erev Shabbos, Pashas Acharei Mos.

Having called upon Hashem to fulfill His ancient promise and having related that promise to his hope for the future, David now emphasizes again how important that promise has been to him. Essentially it has become the focal point of his life, for even though David has experienced much suffering , the promise provides assurance that his travails will be coming to an end. David describes how he draws comfortand strength from the knowledge that fulfillment of Hashem’s promise is just a matter of time. His trust in Hashem’s word  is his guarantee of life.

News Item 315. Mizmor 119-049 (Zayin) - Time


The first pasuk of the Zayin series of Mizmor 119 was posted to the Tehillim section on Sunday, April 30.

In the Zayin series of pesukim David builds on the linkages which he explored in the Vav series. There he showed how linkages demonstrate the unity inherent in the Torah and Creation. Now he speaks of the linkages inherent in the dimension of time. Time itself is a creation, symbolized by the word זְמַן Therefore, from the perspective of the Creator the past, present, and future are elements within His unity.
From the perspective of mankind, the linkages in the passage of time appear as the fulfillment of a promise. The promise was made by Hashem in the past, but when it was made its fulfillment was seen by man as something meant to occur in the distant future. And when it actually does occur, it is experienced by man as the present.
David shows us how man makes contact with the Eternal through the power of Tefilah. By calling upon Hashem to fulfill His past promises, man acknowledges the unity and the truth of the world that He has created. He also demonstrates that the act of fulfillment by Hashem is in itself an acknowledgement of Hashem’s kindness and goodness. For it was His goodness that explains the granting of the promise in the first place.

News Item 314. Mishlei 18-01 (Apart)

A new proverb was posted to the Mishlei section on Wednesday, Rosh Chodesh Iyar. It deals with man's need to see himself through the eyes of others, rather that being "apart".

A man may be motivated to live apart because he thinks it allows him the freedom of doing as he pleases to satisfy his whims and his appetites. He would like not having to justify his behavior to others. But that apparent “freedom” is likely to end up in his own self-destruction. A man needs to see himself through the eyes of others and when he does so, he becomes motivated to live a good life.

News Item 313. Mishlei 17-27 (Speech)

A new proverb was posted to the Mishlei section on Erev Shabbos, April 21, on the

subject of choosing when to speak and when not to speak. 

News Item 312. Mizmor 119-041 (Vav) - Linkages

The complete set of eight pesukim of the Vav segment of Mizmor 119 (beginning at 119:41) were posted on Erev Shabbos Vayikra (3/31).

News Item 311. Mishlei 17-26 (Goodness)

A new proverb relating to the idea of goodness was posted to the Mishlei section on Wednesday 3/29. A good person is inclined to forgive those who have offended him. The offenders may deserve punishment for the harm they have done, but the good person doesn’t want to be the cause of another’s pain. Even if the punishment is decreed in Heaven, the good person hopes the offenders will see the error of their ways so that retribution is not carried out on his account.