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News Item 252. Mishlei 16-30 (Progression)

new proverb was posted on Friday, July 22 in the Mishlei section. [The text was subsequently updated on Thursday July 28.]

A serious offense does not happen instananeously. The offender goes through a sequenced progression of thoughts, speech, and action to result in the harm done to another person. During the course of this progression, the offender is likely to give himself away with subtle body language, including movements of the eyes and lips.

News Item 251. Mishlei 16-29 (Criminality)

new proverb was posted today (Wednesday, July 13) in the Mishlei section. 

This proverb focuses on the kind of person who violates the accepted patterns of lawful behavior and is therefore rejected by law-abiding people. The violent or unjust man (אִישׁ חָמָס) has a powerful need to be accepted and therefore he entices (יְפַתֶּה) any likely individual to join his way of life. Mishlei is cautioning such an individual to resist the enticements because although they may seem attractive, they are clearly not good (לֹא טוֹב) and will cause him great harm. 

News Item 250. Mizmor 119-021 (Gimel 5) Hypocrisy

On Monday July 11, the 21st pasuk of Mizmor 119 (Hypocrisy) was posted to the Tehillim section.  In this pasuk David calls down Hashem’s rebuke upon the hypocrites who distort His Torah for their own ends. In effect, he warns his listeners to avoid falling into the trap of intentional distortions in the law.

News Item 249. Mizmor 119-020 (Yearning)

On Friday July 8, the 20th pasuk of Mizmor 119 (Yearning) was posted to the Tehillim section.  

In this pasuk David gives us a sense of the yearning he has developed for the words and thoughts of the Torah. In effect, he feels as though his deepest soul is almost breaking apart as it reaches out to comprehend every detail and nuance in the Torah. He describes this powerful longing as being with him at all times. That means even when he is busy taking care of the affairs of state or family matters, his mind is drawn to the Torah thoughts that he is missing.

News Item 248. Mishlei 16-28 (Instigation)

new proverb was posted today (Wednesday, July 6) in the Mishlei section.

Unhappy and bitter people are sometimes motivated to cause dissension in a community by intentionally distorting the truth, by revealing private information, and by finding fault in every situation. And so they create misunderstandings and strife among friends and families, and even between a husband and wife, the community and its leaders, or the workers and their employer. 
What causes people to behave in such a destructive and hurtful way? They may feel resentment or envy because of someone else’s success. They may feel anger at having been slighted intentionally or unintentionally, or they may feel inadequate and want to be noticed or to gain the satisfaction of having an impact on the lives of other people.


News Item 247. Mishlei 16-27 (Principles)

new proverb was posted today (Thursday, June 30) in the Mishlei section. This proverb contrasts what goes on in the mind of the unprincipaled man and what happens as a result. In his mind he allows his thoughts to have unrestrained freedom to explore ways of pleasing himself, no matter how evil they are. But inevitably he gives away some part of what is going on in his mind with the sharp and burning words on his lips, even if they are unintentional.

News Item 246. Mizmor 119-019 (Gimel 3) - Strangeness

On Tuesday June 28, the 19th pasuk of Mizmor 119 (Strangeness) was posted to the Tehillim section. 

From the moment a person is born he feels like a stranger ( גֵּר ) in the world. It is as though he is a newcomer to a strange land. As a stranger has to learn how to speak properly and function effectively. 
David uses this analogy to explore his feelings about the vast and complex world of Torah and mitzvos. There is so much to know in terms of how the mitzvos are to be performed and what they mean. How does he allocate his time among his many duties? What is personal mission in this world and how does he relate it to the changing circumstances of his life? Which aspects of daily life should he emphasize and which should he de-emphasize? How does he reconcile the spiritual nature of his soul with the material nature of his body?


News Item 245. Mishlei 16-25, 26 (Delusion)

new proverb was posted today (Tuesday, June 21) in the Mishlei section. 

This segment consists of two proverbs which are linked together to form a complete thought. The first proverb has already been presented independently in Segment 14-12 (Discernment). The perspective there was simply recognize the consequences of an intellectual decision. 
In an unusual step, Mishlei repeats that proverb here to serve as a preamble to the second proverb, which relates a person’s decision to the conflict between his body and soul. 
In the second proverb Mishlei warns against improper burdening of the soul by forcing it to accept the appetites of the body. All of this can come about because a person is tempted to delude himself into keeping the body comfortable and satisfying it with earthly pleasures.


News Item 244. Mizmor 119-018 (Gimel 2) - Perception

On Monday June 20, the 18th pasuk of Mizmor 119 (Perception) was posted to the Tehillim section.

One of the obstacles facing every person is his limited intellectual grasp. The profound depth and complexity of the world that Hashem has created are infinite. The qualities of physical existence are matched by the wonders of the Torah which served as the blueprint for Creation. Man perceives the reality of his existence through a fog which surrounds him like a mysterious veil. As an act of Hashem’s kindness, He lifts the veil at times to expand the understanding and vision of each person.

News Item 243. Mizmor 119-017 (Gimel 1) - Kindness

On Thursday June 16, the 17th pasuk of Mizmor 119 (Kindness) was posted to the Tehillim section.

Here David begins the Gimel segment in which he humbly asks Hashem to grant him an act of Divine kindness. He is hoping to receive from Hashem the ability to withstand all the obstacles and distractions that prevent him from fulfilling his personal mission.