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Mishlei

Concepts Index

MISHLEI CONCEPTS INDEX Accountability. (v. 11:31) “If the tzadik is repaid while yet on earth; how much more so will the rasha and the sinner!” [11-27] Anger. Shame. “The anger of a fool becomes known on the [same] day, but a clever man covers up disgrace.” [12-16]...

Mishlei 01-01 (Introduction)

Mishlei 01-01 Introduction [Pesukim 1:1 thru 1:6] Key Concepts In this first segment (01-01) of Mishlei Chapter 1, Shlomo Hamelech (King Solomon) introduces himself as the author of the book. He explains what it is meant to accomplish and what techniques he will use....

Mishlei 01-07 (Motivation)

Mishlei 01-07 Motivation [Posuk 1:7] Key Concepts Serious learning takes real effort. That’s why people tend to resist any kind of structured learning unless they are motivated. The resistance to learning will be especially high if the material being learned calls for...

Mishlei 01-08 (Good Influences)

Mishlei 01-08 Good Influences [Pesukim 1:8 and 1:9] Key Concepts From the very first days of life, you are subject to the influences of people around you, both positive and negative. Fortunately, your parents were devoted to your welfare and so they did what they...

Mishlei 01-10 (Bad Influences)

Mishlei 01-10 Bad Influences [Pesukim 1:10 thru 1:19] Key Concepts My son, don’t be surprised if someone approaches you with a shady get-rich scheme that seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, you won’t find out until it is too late that it is too good to be true...

Mishlei 01-20 (Wisdom is Calling)

Mishlei 01-20 Wisdom is Calling [Pesukim 1:20 thru 1:33] Key Concepts Don’t say that the wisdom of the Torah is too difficult for you or is not available to you in your situation in life. Don’t say that such wisdom is suitable only for theoretical discussions in the...

Mishlei 02-01 (The Price of Wisdom)

Mishlei 02-01 The Price of Wisdom [Pesukim 2:1 thru 2:4] Key Concepts Mishlei now speaks to the reader as a loving Rebbi who encourages his talmid (student) to make the sacrifices necessary to acquire the wisdom of the Torah. He has already suggested that there is a...

Mishlei 02-05 (The Structure of Wisdom)

Mishlei 02-05 The Structure of Wisdom [Pesukim 2:5 and 2:6] Key Concepts We have spoken of wisdom (chochmah) and the fear of Hashem (yiras Hashem) as being separate concepts, but they are closely related. Basically, wisdom is the knowledge that guides a person in...

Mishlei 02-07 (The Gift of Wisdom)

Mishlei 02-07 The Gift of Wisdom [Pesukim 2:7 thru 2:22] Key Concepts The Torah is Hashem’s gift of wisdom to the Jewish people, but it is a conditional gift. The condition is that those who have received the gift commit themselves to studying it and acting in...

Mishlei 03-01 (The Continuity of Wisdom)

Mishlei 03-01 The Continuity of Wisdom [Pesukim 3:1 thru 3:4] Key Concepts In His kindness Hashem created man with the capacity to acquire wisdom in unlimited amounts. However, He intentionally made man a living organism whose store of wisdom is constantly...

Mishlei 03-05 (Connecting to the Source)

Mishlei 03-05 Connecting to the Source [Pesukim 3:5 thru 3:10] Key Concepts In Gan Eden when man gained the power of bechirah (free will), he lost something precious. He lost the fullness of his bond to Hashem and the instinctive sense of having been created by Him....

Mishlei 03-11 (Wisdom and Mussar)

Mishlei 03-11 Wisdom and Mussar [Pesukim 3:11 and 3:12] Key Concepts It is man’s mission in life to perfect his moral character and acquire the wisdom he needs to choose good over evil. To this end he needs to overcome the bad middos such as pride and greed, which...

Mishlei 03-13 (Wisdom and Life)

Mishlei 03-13 Wisdom and Life [Pesukim 3:13 thru 3:18] Key Concepts Wisdom is a glorious gift from Hashem, but it is a gift that is given only to those who are capable of receiving it. A person must prepare himself to receive Hashem’s wisdom by learning Torah from a...

Mishlei 03-19 (Wisdom and Creation)

Mishlei 03-19  Wisdom and Creation [Pesukim 3:19 and 3:20] Key Concepts Hashem created the world for mankind to achieve moral and spiritual perfection, as expressed by the wisdom of the Torah. Without that wisdom there would have been no purpose in Creation. Because...

Mishlei 03-21 (Wisdom and Happiness)

Mishlei 03-21 Wisdom and Happiness [Pesukim 3:21 thru 3:26] Key Concepts By acquiring the wisdom of the Torah and observing its mitzvos, man has been given the opportunity to live his life in harmony with the world that Hashem created. Although human life is fraught...

Mishlei 03-27 (Wisdom and Goodness)

Mishlei 03-27 Wisdom and Goodness [Pesukim 3:27 thru 3:30] Key Concepts Wisdom teaches us that we have a major mission in life: to develop and maintain the quality of our middos (character traits) — those that affect our relationship with other people and those that...

Mishlei 03-31 (Wisdom and Destiny)

Mishlei 03-31 Wisdom and Destiny [Pesukim 3:31 thru 3:35] Key Concepts Wisdom guides us in making the right choices in life. Mishlei teaches that foolish people make the wrong choices when they ignore the wisdom that is accessible to them. These people prefer to...

Mishlei 04-01 (Wisdom and Tradition)

Mishlei 04-01 Mishlei and Tradition (04-01 thru 04-04) Key Concepts All wisdom originates with the Creator, our universal Father. He gave wisdom as a Divine gift to man and so began the tradition of wisdom being passed down from generation to generation, from father...

Mishlei 04-05 (Acquiring Wisdom)

Mishlei 04-05   Acquiring Wisdom (04-05 thru 04-09) Key Concepts Wisdom is a gift from Hashem, but it becomes effective only if you take personal possession of it. To acquire wisdom, you will need to do what it takes to make it part of you. You will then see the...

Mishlei 04-10 (The Wisdom Road)

Mishlei 04-10  The Wisdom Road Pesukim 04:10 thru 04:13 Key Concepts Mishlei compares the wisdom of the Torah to a road through life. Our mission is to faithfully stay on that road as we continue our journey. No one knows how long he will live but he hopes to...

Mishlei 04-14 (The Wrong Road)

Mishlei 04-14  The Wrong Road [Pesukim 4:14 thru 4:19] Key Concepts Mishlei reminds us that as we travel our road through life, we can easily get side-tracked onto a bad road. Whereas the good road is illuminated by the light of wisdom, the bad road is immersed in...

Mishlei 04-20 (Staying on Course)

Mishlei 04-20  Staying On Course [Pesukim 4:20 thru 4:27] Key Concepts Continuing his discussion of choosing our road through life, Mishlei now teaches us that having chosen the right road we must be continually alert to make sure we are not getting side-tracked. This...

Mishlei 05-01 (Wisdom in Depth)

Mishlei 05-01 Mishlei in Depth [Pesukim 5:1 and 5:2] Key Concepts Mishlei now begins a discussion of how a well-meaning person can be misled into corrupted morality and false doctrines. The powerful attractions of sinful behavior lie in the unconscious desire to...

Mishlei 05-03 (The Ultimate Fraud)

Mishlei 05-03 The Ultimate Fraud [Pesukim 5:3 thru 5:6] Key Concepts Mishlei began this chapter by emphasizing the importance of a solid foundation in the wisdom of the Torah. That grounding is essential if wisdom is to serve as a bulwark against sinful behavior. He...

Mishlei 05-07 (Managing Temptation)

Mishlei 05-07 Managing Temptation [Pesukim 5:7 thru 5:23] Key Concepts This segment presents a discussion of three stages in the development of temptation. Typically, a person is in one of the three stages at any time regarding any sin he may be tempted to commit....

Mishlei 06-01 (Wishful Thinking)

Mishlei 06-01 Wishful Thinking [Pesukim 6:1 thru 6:5] Key Concepts In the previous chapter we have seen how the downward spiral to sin is often marked by self-delusion. Mishlei now touches upon another aspect of self-delusion, which is wishful thinking. This is a...

Mishlei 06-06 (Focused Thinking)

Mishlei 06-06 Focused Thinking [Pesukim 6:6 thru 6:11] Key Concepts The chapter began with an example of wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is what happens when a person is too lazy to expend the energy necessary to do what needs to be done. Instead, he lets matters...

Mishlei 06-12 (Unprincipled Thinking)

Mishlei 06-12 Unprincipled Thinking [Pesukim 6:12 thru 6:15] Key Concepts In the previous segment (06-06), Mishlei taught us the value of focused thinking as an antidote to lethargy. A person who practices focused thinking identifies the goals that are important to...

Mishlei 06-16 (The Anatomy of Sin)

Mishlei 06-16 The Anatomy of Sin [Pesukim 6:16 thru 6:19] Key Concepts In the previous segment (06-16) Mishlei described the consequences of being an unprincipled person who operates without moral or ethical restraints. The sinful behaviors of such a person were...

Mishlei 06-20 (Applying Wisdom to Life)

Mishlei 06-20 Applying Wisdom to Life [Pesukim 6:20 thru 6:23] Key Concepts In the first chapter (Segment 01-08), Mishlei explained to his student the importance of being receptive to the wisdom that he has been taught by his father and mother “My son, pay attention...

Mishlei 06-24 (Immorality)

Mishlei 06-24 Immorality [Pesukim 6:24 thru 6:35] Key Concepts In previous chapters we have seen how Mishlei has adopted the powerful metaphor of an immoral woman to illustrate the temptations and consequences of sin. Many of the factors affecting immoral behavior are...

Mishlei 07-01 (Bonding with Wisdom)

Mishlei 07-01 Bonding with Wisdom [Pesukim 7:1 thru 7: 5] Key Concepts In contrast to the dangers symbolized by the “strange woman,” Mishlei has already given us an idealized image of the female Wisdom who appears everywhere throughout the city and calls out to...

Mishlei 07-06 (A Lack of Wisdom)

Mishlei 07-06 A Lack of Wisdom [Pesukim 7:6 thru 7:9] Key Concepts What happens when a person neglects Wisdom? He becomes vulnerable to the forces of temptation. These forces are present in the world around us, and also exist within every person. In this segment...

Mishlei 07-10 (A Tragedy)

Mishlei 07-10 A Tragedy [Pesukim 7:10 thru 7:27] Key Concepts In the previous segment we have seen how human character can begin to deteriorate under the influence of the yetzer hara (the evil inclination). The yetzer hara operates inside a person’s mind, even without...

Mishlei 08-01 ( The Call of Wisdom)

Mishlei 08-01 The Call of Wisdom [Pesukim 8:1 thru 8:36] Key Concepts Mishlei now returns to the idealized metaphor of Wisdom that was introduced in the first chapter (Segment 01-20).  Wisdom is represented as an angelic spirit that expresses Hashem’s desires to every...

Mishlei 09-01 (Invitation to Wisdom)

Mishlei 09-01 Invitation to Wisdom [Pesukim 9:1 thru 9: 6] Key Concepts After having emphasized the great importance of wisdom in Creation and in our lives, Mishlei now offers a warm invitation to those who have not yet been fully persuaded. To convey his message, he...

Mishlei 09-07 (Rejection of Wisdom)

Mishlei 09-07 Rejection of Wisdom [Pesukim 9:7 thru 9: 12] Key Concepts In the previous segment Mishlei told us about the earnest invitation that is broadcast far and wide by the “maidens” of Wisdom, that is by the prophets, wise men, and teachers of each generation....

Mishlei 09-13 (Invitation to Ignorance)

Mishlei 09-13 Invitation to Ignorance [Pesukim 9:13 thru 9:18] Key Concepts In the first segment of this chapter (09-01) Mishlei presented us with the metaphor of a female spirit that graciously invites mankind to participate in the gift of Wisdom. He then...

Mishlei 10-01 (Joy and Sorrow)

Mishlei 10-01 Joy and Sorrow Key Concepts This segment introduces the central section of the Book of Mishlei. The section consists of a series of thought-provoking proverbs presented over the course of 15 chapters. Whereas the first section of the book taught the...

Mishlei 10-02 (Wealth)

Mishlei 10-02 Wealth Key Concepts One of the challenges of life is the need to make a proper balance between the material possessions which a person must acquire to support his family and the charitable giving that he must perform to help those in need. The first...

Mishlei 10-03 (Security)

Mishlei 10-03 Security Key Concepts In the previous segment Mishlei taught us to place restraints on the acquisition of wealth and to set aside an appropriate portion to help others. Now he responds to those who are concerned that they will not have enough money to...

Mishlei 10-04 (Dishonesty)

Mishlei 10-04 Dishonesty Key Concepts In their eagerness to gain wealth people may be tempted to take act unethically, such as by using false weights in commerce. Mishlei warns them that they will not achieve the outcome they are hoping for. On the contrary, they will...

Mishlei 10-05 (Responsibility)

Mishlei 10-05 Responsibility Key Concepts It takes wisdom and character to take responsibility for addressing the challenges of life. Depending on his occupation, a person who fails to take responsibility may find himself unable to earn a living and fulfill his...

Mishlei 10-06 (The Community)

Mishlei 10-06 The Community Key Concepts The presence of a tzadik in a community creates a general feeling of goodwill which promotes the well-being of the entire comunity, for people seek to emulate the role model that the tzadik presents. They also know that Hashem...

Mishlei 10-07 (Blessings)

Mishlei 10-07 Blessings Key Concepts After a tzadik (righteous person) has passed away, the impression that his good deeds have made on the community continues to inspire others. Thus, whenever they think of him, they bless his memory in gratitude for the contribution...

Mishlei 10-08 (Heart)

Mishlei 10-08 Heart Key Concepts The heart represents the part of the human personality that impels a person to action, but at the same time it resists discipline. Without the involvement of the heart his actions lack emotional drive and passion. But if his heart is...

Mishlei 10-09 (Integrity)

Mishlei 10-09 Integrity Key Concepts A person who lives his life with integrity has no need of lies or subterfuge because he is confident that no matter what happens, he will not be at a disadvantage if he stays with the truth. He trusts the good will of Hashem to...

Mishlei 10-10 (Deception)

Mishlei 10-10 Deception Key Concepts In contrast to the man of integrity, the deceptive person feels unfulfilled if he is not taking personal advantage over every situation through one scheme or another. To gain advantage he looks for an angle in the form of some...

Mishlei 10-11 (Speech)

Mishlei 10-11 Speech Key Concepts Hashem gave man the precious power of speech so that he could share wisdom, do kindnesses, and communicate with his Creator. Thus, when used by a righteous person (tzadik) the human mouth becomes a source of life. In contrast, wicked...

Mishlei 10-12 (Love and Hate)

Mishlei 10-12 Love and Hate Key Concepts We are instructed by the Torah to resist feelings of hatred (Vayikra 19:17), but the inclination to resent others is always lurking berneath the surface as the result of our jealousy, pride, and selfishness. Mishlei teaches us...

Mishlei 10-13 (Insight)

Mishlei 10-13 Insight Key Concepts It is not enough to acquire wisdom; wisdom must be further developed by comparing one concept with another in order to gain insight. Without insight a person will only be able to act on the specific wisdom that he has received. But...

Mishlei 10-14 (Discretion)

Mishlei 10-14 Discretion Key Concepts Because of the great value and power of knowledge, one needs to exercise care and discretion in choosing when and how to share it with others. A wise person recognizes that knowledge can easily be distorted and misinterpreted in...

Mishlei 10-15 (Wealth)

Mishlei 10-15 Wealth Key Concepts Foolish people look at wealth as a guarantee of security. They rely on their riches to protect them from misfortune. However, wealth can easily be lost and when the rich lose their wealth, they have nothing to fall back on. A man’s...

Mishlei 10-16 (Attitude)

Mishlei 10-16 Attitude Key Concepts A person’s pattern of behavior is governed by his overall attitude. Over time that attitude leans toward either serving Hashem or pleasing himself. At the positive extreme he is described as a righteous man (tzadik) and at the other...

Mishlei 10-17 (Intervention)

Mishlei 10-17 Intervention Key Concepts Over a period of time it is natural for a person to fall into a comfortable pattern of behavior in which he resists change. However, in doing so he is neglecting his mission in life, which is to perfect his moral character and...

Mishlei 10-18 (Reacting)

Mishlei 10-18 Reacting Key Concepts When a person is treated unfairly his natural instinct is to express his resentment to others. To give in to this instinct is a foolish mistake because the words he uses against the offender are likely to promote further contention...

Mishlei 10-19 (Virtues of Silence)

Mishlei 10-19 Virtues of Silence Key Concepts This proverb contrasts the virtues of speech with the virtuesof silence. As we have seen in a previous proverb (Segment 10-11) the ability to speak can be a great blessing. In fact, when exercised by a righteous person,...

Mishlei 10-20 (Perseverance)

Mishlei 10-20 Perseverance Key Concepts Every righteous man (tzadik) has a responsibility to have a positive moral and spiritual effect on others. In this proverb Mishlei shows how this is easier said than done. On the one hand, the tzadik takes great pains to...

Mishlei 10-21 (Guidance)

Mishlei 10-21 Guidance Key Concepts Life is filled with uncertainties and challenges and so everyone is in need of guidance to a greater or lesser degree. A righteous person (tzadik) who has worked for years to acquire and develop wisdom is uniquely qualified to offer...

Mishlei 10-22 (Wealth and Worry)

Mishlei 10-22 Wealth and Worry Key Concepts This proverb addresses the challenge of balancing one’s bitachon (trust) in Hashem’s bounty against the hishtadlus (effort) that the person should expend in earning his livelihood. The key to this balance is the awareness...

Mishlei 10-23 (Quickness)

Mishlei 10-23 Quickness Key Concepts Quickness is a characteristic of human behavior that may or may not be praiseworthy depending on the circumstance. To illustrate the concept of quickness Mishlei compares it to the phenomenon of laughter. When a person sees or...

Mishlei 10-24 (Hopes and Fears)

Mishlei 10-24 Hopes and Fears Key Concepts A person’s thoughts of the future are affected by his hopes and his fears. He hopes that his desires will be fulfilled and that any potential threats on the horizon will be avoided. He may fear that potential threats will be...

Mishlei 10-25 (Reality)

Mishlei 10-25 Reality [Pasuk 10:25] Key Concepts In this world of fantasy, it is often difficult to distinguish what is real from what is unreal. Ultimately, that which has a permanent existence is real, whereas that which is like a passing storm is unreal. As long as...

Mishlei 10-26 (Laziness)

Mishlei 10-26 Laziness Key Concepts We were put into this world to be active. This means we should measure our life by our accomplishments, especially in terms of the mitzvos we do and the changes we make to ourselves as we develop our character. We come into this...

Mishlei 10-27 (Longevity)

Mishlei 10-27 Longevity Key Concepts Although everyone wants to live a long life, nobody can be sure how to increase their own life span, or even to know how much time they have left. These things are determined by the Creator Who gave us life and Who will ultimately...

Mishlei 10-28 (Hope)

Mishlei 10-28 Hope Key Concepts We live in the present, but our state of mind is highly influenced by our hope and expectation of what will happen in the future. Hope is an essential quality that gives a person happiness and joy in what he is doing. It invigorates him...

Mishlei 10-29 (Stability and Integrity)

Mishlei 10-29 Stability and Integrity [Pesukim 10:29 and 10:30] Key Concepts The person who follows the way of Hashem will be blessed with a life of stability, one that is long and productive. The stability that is granted by Hashem is like a towering stronghold with...

Mishlei 10-31 (Speech and Goodwill)

Mishlei 10-31 Speech and Goodwill [Pesukim 10:31 and 10:32] Key Concepts When used by a righteous person (tzadik) the human mouth becomes a source of life (see Segment 10-11).  With the power of speech, the tzadik can share wisdom, promote goodwill, and communicate...

Mishlei 11-01 (Integrity)

Mishlei 11-01 Integrity Key Concepts People can reach their full potential only when they live at peace and cooperate with one another. Since human physical needs are complex, Hashem has encouraged specialization of crafts and methods of production. Through the...

Mishlei 11-02 (Malice)

Mishlei 11-02 Malice Key Concepts A person of low character allows his natural selfishness to dominate his personality. (See 03-07.) As a result, he becomes inconsiderate to others and aggressively exploits his relationship with them. This malicious tendency...

Mishlei 11-03 (Fairness)

Mishlei 11-03 Fairness Key Concepts This proverb explores fairness (yashrus), which is an essential quality (middah) of a person’s character. Yashrus is the decency and fair-mindedness that motivates a person to act in a balanced and equitable manner. It was...

Mishlei 11-04 (Wealth)

Mishlei 11-04 Wealth Key Concepts People accumulate wealth as a bulwark against misfortune. They think that the more money they have the more protected they are. But they are mistaken, because the money they spend may be a better protection than the money they save....

Mishlei 11-05 (Righteousness)

Mishlei 11-05  Righteousness Key Concepts This proverb helps us understand how a person who is eager to do the right thing can make the right choice even in an ambiguous situation. We refer to such a person as a tzaddik and we refer to the tzaddik’s intense desire to...

Mishlei 11-06 (Ingratitude)

Mishlei 11-06 Ingratitude Key Concepts In Mishlei 11-03 we have seen how yashrus (fair-mindedness) encourages a person to be grateful for favors and kindnesses. Thus, its opposite is disloyalty or ingratitude. People who display it are called bogdim (traitors). Such...

Mishlei 11-07 (Lost Hope)

Mishlei 11-07 Lost Hope Key Concepts This proverb is a response to those who envy the apparent good fortune of the rasha (wicked person). Such a person may be defined as one who devotes his energies to physical pleasures and accomplishments. When he dies he leaves...

Mishlei 11-08 (Substitution)

Mishlei 11-08 Substitution Key Concepts In Segment 11-05 we have seen how a good person can be rescued from a potential misfortune. We have also seen that there is a balance in the way Hashem administers the world so that when good people are saved, the adversity that...

Mishlei 11-09 (Flattery)

Mishlei 11-09 Flattery Key Concepts One of the most effective ways of influencing another person is to say something that person wants to hear. Since we all wish we were better and more qualified than we really are, we are naturally drawn to someone who assures us we...

Mishlei 11-10 (The Community)

Mishlei 11-10 The Community [11:10 – 11] Key Concepts The well-being of a community depends on the kind of people who live in it. For example, the presence of tzadikim (righteous people) in a community brings a blessing from Hashem, which results in benefit and honor...

Mishlei 11-12 (Contempt)

Mishlei 11-12 Contempt Key Concepts It is a general failure of character to look down upon another person, no matter how lowly. It is also unwise because no one knows what the future holds.  Even if the other person seems unlearned and inconsequential, no one can be...

Mishlei 11-13 (Confidentialty)

Mishlei 11-13  Confidentiality Key Concepts Information can be deadly because it can easily be misunderstood and, in any case, can provoke resentment and anger. Thus, information that is not carefully managed can be a source of strife, undermining the peace of a...

Mishlei 11-14 (Anticipation)

Mishlei 11-14 Anticipation Key Concepts In every area of life and at every level we are faced with challenges and problems to solve. Even if all the factors are known, the solution that seems most likely to be successful may turn out to be too costly or ineffective....

Mishlei 11-15 (Risk Avoidance)

Mishlei 11-15 Risk Avoidance Key Concepts We should always avoid taking on excess risk, especially in situations where we have no control.  When we act as the guarantor (co-signer) of a loan we are placing ourselves at the mercy of the borrower who may be unable or...

Mishlei 11-16 (Honor)

Mishlei 11-16 Honor Key Concepts Honor is a social quality which represents the high opinion and respect that people have of you. It is often associated with wealth which has the effect of drawing honor in its wake. If you have wealth, people are inclined to please...

Mishlei 11-17 (Sensitivity)

Mishlei 11-17 Sensitivity Key Concepts A person who has the habit of being kind to others is sensitive to their feelings. In every interaction with other people, he tries to avoid causing pain. But a callous person is insensitive to the feelings of others and often...

Mishlei 11-18 (Futility)

Mishlei 11-18 Futility Key Concepts When a person is engaged in a demanding activity, he hopes it will be worthwhile and lead to some beneficial result. This will be the case if the activity has a spiritual motive, such as serving Hashem or helping other people. But...

Mishlei 11-19 (Charity)

Mishlei 11-19 Charity Key Concepts Giving charity to the needy is certainly a great mitzvah, so great that its reward is described as the blessing of life. However, the manner in which charity is given can be more important than the act itself. If not done in the...

Mishlei 11-20 (Heart)

Mishlei 11-20 Heart Key Concepts The heart represents the part of the human personality that impels a person to action. Without the involvement of the heart his actions lack emotional drive and passion. But if his heart is given free rein, he is at risk of making...

Mishlei 11-21 (Hands)

Mishlei 11-21 Hands Key Concepts The human hand is a powerful metaphor, for it symbolizes the ability to take action, whether by man or Hashem. When two hands are involved, we can visualize an agreement between two parties, a handshake to confirm a deal. Thus, the...

Mishlei 11-22 (Ornamentation)

Mishlei 11-22 Ornamentation Key Concepts An appropriate ornament can enhance our appreciation of a worthy person, calling attention to his or her good qualities. However, even a beautiful and valuable ornament can be ugly and false if the person does not reflect the...

Mishlei 11-23 (Anticipation)

Mishlei 11-23 Anticipation Key Concepts Although the future is unknown to ordinary human beings, it is natural to think about what may happen and what our reaction will be to the possibility of various outcomes. In Mishlei 11-14 we saw the importance of planning ahead...

Mishlei 11-24 (Generosity)

Mishlei 11-24 Generosity [Pesukim 11-24 thru 11-27] Key Concepts A person who is concerned about the welfare of others focuses his attention upon those around him and is sensitive to their needs and wishes. His mind is occupied by thinking what can be done to help...

Mishlei 11-28 (Wealth)

Mishlei 11-28 Wealth Key Concepts People accumulate wealth to give them a sense of security and freedom. They think that as long as they have wealth anything is possible for them because they see wealth as power. They fail to realize that their wealth is temporary and...

Mishlei 11-29 (Responsibility)

Mishlei 11-29 Responsibility Key Concepts The man who is privileged to become the head of a household is given the opportunity to build a Jewish family and to live on in their hearts after he is gone. However, these responsibilities call for energy and initiative. The...

Mishlei 11-30 (Guidance)

Mishlei 11-30 Guidance Key Concepts As we have seen in Segment 01-03 a person should be receptive to the positive influences that he encounters in life, beginning with his father and mother. Now Mishlei examines two kinds of influence that correspond to the kinds of...

Mishlei 11-31 (Accountability)

Mishlei 11-31 Accountability Key Concepts It is human nature to assume that when things go well they will continue to go well. A person who knows he is doing what is morally or ethically wrong, but sees that life is good, may find it easy to convince himself that he...

Mishlei 12-01 (Intervention and Daas)

Mishlei 12-01 Intervention and Daas Key Concepts In Segment 10-17 we have seen how Hashem intervenes in the smooth flow of events and injects customized lessons into a person’s life to remind him of his failings and to encourage him to elevate himself to the next...

Mishlei 12-02 (Self-Sufficiency)

Mishlei 12-02 Self-Sufficiency Key Concepts One of the main challenges a person must face in life derives from the instinctive desire to be self-sufficient. This desire causes him to rely on his own cleverness in planning his life and choosing what to do in any...

Mishlei 12-03 (Stability and Continuity)

Mishlei 12-03 Stability and Continuity Key Concepts As we have seen in Segment 10-29, a life of stability is the natural reward for righteousness and integrity. A life that is long and productive can be visualized as a tower having strong foundations. Even when...

Mishlei 12-04 (Matrimony) [12:4]

Mishlei 12-04 Matrimony Key Concepts The unique relationship between husband and wife is symbolized by the creation of the first man and woman from one human body. Because of the closeness of this relationship, each marriage partner tends to identify with the other...

Mishlei 12-05 (Thoughts)

Mishlei 12-05 Thoughts Key Concepts A person’s mind is continuously active during his waking hours. Much of this thinking is directed towards what he will be doing or experiencing in the near and distant future. These considerations have three primary aspects: (1)...