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Technical Interruption

You may have noticed that the Nafshi website was unavailable for the last day or so. I am now happy to report that full service has been restored. I am especially grateful to those of you who were kind enough to let me know  that you were experiencing difficulties. Such information is extremely helpful.

Yitzchok Kirzner

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News Item 286. Mizmor 119-033 (Heh)

The first three of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Erev Shabbos, November 18. 

Up to this point David has speaking of doing the mitzvos from the point of view of a member of Klal Yisrael. The obligation and privilege of performing every aspect of every mitzvah in accordance with the universal Torah is inherent in being a Jew. 
But the way each individual performs a mitzvah is inevitably affected by his unique personality and experiences of life. The challenge for each person is to go beyond the general requirements of the mitzvos and add the texture of his own special aptitudes and strengths. In each moment of the performance of a mitzvah, a person must add something of himself, recreating the mitzvah in his own image within the framework of its halachic requirements.


News Item 285. Mishlei 17-11 (Embitterment)

new proverb was posted on Wednesday, November 16 in the Mishlei section. 

Sooner or later everyone experiences frustration and disappointment. There are times when things don’t work out as you expected and the good fortune that you thought you deserved does not materialize. So what do you do?
You might be tempted to blame others instead of looking within himself for a solution to what has happened. If you blame others you are likely to feel resentful and bitter. This does not solve the problem. Instead it makes it worse. You end up falling into a downward spiral of recriminations and anger. And so you become your own worst enemy. 
Mishlei describes the perpetrator of the embittered person’s downfall as a cruel angel. In effect this angel is the yetzer hara, the evil inclination that is within him, and which he has failed to master. 

News Item 284. Mizmor 119-033 (Heh) 2 pesukim

The first two of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Erev Shabbos, November 11. 

Many people who are Torah observant, perform the mitzvos out of a sense of duty. But for David this was not enough. He felt the need to incorporate the Torah into his entire being and practice each of its mitzvos as the most important thing in his life. To achieve this exalted level of service to Hashem, he realized that he must have a deep intellectual understanding of what each mitzvah means. This understanding would enable him to emotionally appreciate the value of the mitzvah as a cherished experience. Only then could he achieve his goal, which was to live the mitzvah with his whole heart.

News Item 283. Mishlei 17-10 (Discipline)

new proverb was posted on Tuesday, November 8 in the Mishlei section. 

There are times when person needs to be reminded that the path he is following will lead to tragedy. The responsiveness of the person being corrected depends on the nature of the rebuke and on his character. If he is an intelligent and conscientious person, a carefully chose turn of phrase on the part of a parent or teacher can have a powerful effect. 
But if he is a foolish, irresponsible individual he is likely to disregard a verbal rebuke. For a person who is unreceptive to guidance, mere words will simply slide away. A physical event in the form of a sudden accident, illness, or even an actual blow is needed to shake up his complacent, self-satisfied attitude. 


News Item 282. Mishlei 17-09 (Love)

new proverb was posted on Wednesday, November 2 in the Mishlei section. To understand an abstract concept such as love we need to identify the specific patterns of behavior that it implies. Some behaviors are consistent with a feeling of love while others demonstrate the absence of love. Using a distinctive choice of words and phrases Mishlei has presented us with a means to examine our own lives and relationships with regard to some aspects of what we should think of as love.

News Item 281. Mizmor 119-033. Heh (Following the Way)

The first of the eight pesukim of the Heh Segment of Mizmor 119 has now been posted, as of Erev Shabbos, October 28.

News Item 280. Mishlei 17-08 (Influence)

new proverb was posted on Wednesday, October 26 in the Mishlei section. 

It is possible to influence someone else’s behavior by means of a gift, gratuity, or bribe. Depending on the circumstances, such an offering may serve a noble purpose or a harmful purpose. The offering may be in the form of money, an article of value, or even just words. The effect of an illegal offering may be to corrupt a judge or a witness. On the other hand an offering may serve to promote forgiveness or goodwill.
Mishlei wants to make us aware of the power in a gift, both for good or ill. The proverb in this segment is structured so as to make us aware of this.

News Item 279. Mishlei 17-07 (Self-Importance)

new proverb was posted on Thursday, October 20 in the Mishlei section. 

When an unaccomplished person acts with foolish self-importance, he is likely to give himself away by his pompous, bombastic manner of speaking. His choice of language brands him as a faker. If he pretends to be a generous giver to worthy causes people will see through his pretentiousness. Even if he makes a large pledge to charity he will not be believed. 
But what if he appears to be a true man of distinction, the same high-flown choice of words may be quite appropriate and people will give him the benefit of the doubt. For such a person to arouse suspicion he would have to go far beyond pompous language or an extravagant pledge. It is only when he speaks a language of obvious lies and deception that people will begin to realize with whom they are dealing. 

News Item 278. Mizmor 119-025 (Daled) - Finding the Way

The compled set of eight pesukim of the Daled Segment of Mizmor 119 have now been posted, as of Erev Yom Kippur, October 11.