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News Item 296. Mishlei 17-17 (Friendship)

new proverb was posted on Erev Shabbos in the Mishlei section.

This proverb speaks of the characteristic quality of friendship in terms of love and its continuity through time. The quality of friendship becomes elevated to a higher state when it is transformed to spiritual brotherhood. This occurs when friendship is tested by adversity. 

News Item 295. Mizmor 119-033 (Distractions)

The first seven of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Thursday, December 29.  

The seventh pasuk is 119:39, entitled Distractions. 

As a dynamic leader, husband, and father David lived a complicated life. Despite his intense yearning for closeness with Hashem he was beset with many duties and distractions that interfered with the spiritual wholeness that was his life goal. 
And so he found it necessary to plead with Hashem to help him by reducing the daily distractions and complications that affected him. When he thought about the perfection of the mitzvos and the Torah he found himself in dread of the external factors that were constantly cropping up. He knew it was his challenge to overcome them but he was deeply ashamed of his failings, which he considered his disgrace. 

News Item 294. Mishlei 17-16 (Illusions)

new proverb was posted on Erev Shabbos in the Mishlei section.  

This proverb expresses amazement at the folly of someone who thinks he can acquire Torah wisdom despite lacking the essential qualifications. Although he says he is prepared to pay the price of wisdom, he still cannot buy it because he lacks character (heart). 
That is because he thinks of learning as simply a matter of time and effort. But all the time and effort that he is prepared to expend is not enough if he is unworthy. 

News Item 293. Mizmor 119-033 (Heh - 6) Continuity

The first six of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Erev Shabbos, December 16.  

David was granted the privilege and responsibility of founding a royal dynasty that would extend through centuries and reach its ultimate fulfillment with the anointing of the Moshiach. However, David understood that the continuity of his glorious line and the ultimate fulfullment of his mission would depend upon the devotion of his children to the service of Hashem.

News Item 292. Mishlei 17-15 (Falseness)

new proverb was posted on Tuesday, December 13 in the Mishlei section. 

There are times when one is inclined to favor a wicked person, speaking highly of him or giving in to his wishes. Correspondingly there are times when one is inclined to speak in demeaning terms about a righteous person or deny him the benefit the doubt in a dispute. The person who behaves with such falseness may prefer to believe he is fully justified in this behavior. He may think he can thereby persuade the wicked person to do something good or persuade the righteous person that he is not good enough and that needs to have more humility. 

News Item 291. Mizmor 119 (Heh Segment)

The first five of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Erev Shabbos, December 9.  

Even when person sincerely desires to follow the way of Hashem, he may find himself distracted by false and misleading appearances. A thinking person learns through bitter experience that what he is seeing often does not correspond to reality. Food which appears attractive is not always healthy or tasty. People and advertisements that seem inviting may paint a deceptive picture of integrity and morality even though fraudulence and sin lurk beneath the surface.

News Item 290. Mishlei 17-14 (Conflict)

new proverb was posted on Wednesday, December 7 in the Mishlei section.  Mishlei identifies a major turning point in the life of a conflict. That is when the parties have taken a public position which they have openly argued and defended. This means they have invested their reputation in a particular point of view. It then becomes much more difficult for them to back down. Some damage has already been done and it is on track to continue. That is why Mishlei urges anyone involved in a conflict to abandon it before it becomes unstoppable.

News Item 289. Mizmor 119-033 (Following the Way)

The first four of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Erev Shabbos, December 2. 

Each person has a natural inclination to acquire possessions because doing so gives him a sense of increased personal power and potential. Many people respond to that inclination by amassing financial wealth or physical possessions. However, the benefits to be gained by such possessions are fleeting. Despite the illusions of happiness they present, such possessions often end up as being unfulfilling and even destructive. 
In the fouth pasuk of the segment David asks Hashem to help him in directing his acquisitive inclination to a greed for Torah knowledge. The detailed knowledge that he gains from learning Torah empowers him to perform the many mitzvos that are waiting for him. In this way he gains the sense of accomplishment that comes from fufilling his mission in the world and he gains to ability to show his gratitude to his Creator.  

News Item 288. Mishlei 17-13 (Ingratitude)

new proverb was posted on Wednesday, November 30 in the Mishlei section.This proverb brings our attention to the consequences of ingratitude. Ingratitude is a living tragedy which brings about permanent harm, both spiritual and physical, for the one who practices it and for those around him.

News Item 287. Mishlei 17-12 (Fear)

new proverb was posted on Thursday, November 24 in the Mishlei section.

This proverb alerts us to the threat of spiritual danger that is inherent in any encounter with a fool who scoffs at the idea of fear. Even though spiritual fear depends on the conscience of the believer in the truth of the Torah, it should be even greater than instinctive fear.