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Mishlei

Mishlei 19-10 (Pleasure)

Mishlei 19-10 Pleasure Key Concepts A key driving force in human behavior is the eagerness to experience pleasure. This includes physical pleasure, emotional pleasure, and spiritual pleasure. A person’s instinctive attitude is that pleasure is a good thing and the...

Mishlei 19-11 (Wisdom – Intelligence)

Mishlei 19-11 Wisdom – Intelligence Key Concepts The intellect is an essential faculty that Hashem has given to every person. It enables him to evaluate each challenge of life and respond in a way that he believes serves his needs and his conscience. Of course, just...

Mishlei 19-12 (Royalty)

Mishlei 19-12 Royalty Key Concepts There are certain advantages in being a member of royalty. People treat you with special courtesy and pay close attention to your wishes. They try to avoid upsetting you and seek your favor. So, wouldn’t it be nice to be a royal...

Mishlei 19-13 (The Intelligent Woman)

Mishlei 19-13 The Intelligent Woman [Pesukim 19:13 and 19:14] Key Concepts It is natural for a man to seek serenity and peace in his home. Therefore, he is especially dependent upon the personal qualities of his wife and children. For example, having an unworthy son...

Mishlei 19-15 (Inactivity)

Mishlei 19-15 Inactivity [Pesukim 19:15 and 19:16] Key Concepts Our life consists of alternating periods of activity and inactivity. Of course, we naturally give priority to the periods of activity because that is when we do what is necessary to earn a living and that...

Mishlei 19-17 (Reimbursement)

Mishlei 19-17 Charity – Reimbursement Key Concepts When Hashem created the world with all of its creatures, He didn’t just leave them to fend for themselves. He set up the cycle of nature whereby each creature would have access to the sustenance that it needed to...

Mishlei 19-18 (Parenting – Patience)

Mishlei 19-18 Parenting – Patience Key Concepts Raising children requires infinite patience. When children resist verbal persuasion, concerned parents may occasionally find it necessary to resort to physical discipline. However, such steps should should never be...

Mishlei 19-19 (Anger)

Mishlei 19-19 Anger Key Concepts Anger is a common reaction to a personal offense. The offended person feels that he has been disrespected and that his dignity or self-image has been undermined. His resentment builds up and he strikes out emotionally against what he...

Mishlei 19-20 (Truth)

Mishlei 19-20 Wisdom – Truth (Pesukim 19:20 and 19:21) Key Concepts Mishlei teaches us the value of wisdom based on truth. This is Torah truth, revealed in the national experience of the Jewish people and in the testimony of that experience as passed on to us by...

Mishlei 19-22 (Pretension)

Mishlei 19-22 Pretension Key Concepts A person who wants to be popular may go out of his way to create the impression of having wealth so that he can be admired for his generosity. He leads people to believe that they will benefit financially if they are on good terms...

Mishlei 19-23 (Fear of Hashem)

Mishlei 19-23 Fear of Hashem Key Concepts It is natural to feel fear when you are in the presence of a powerful force that is beyond your control. The intensity of your fear depends on what is going through your mind: (1) How real is the thing you are afraid of? (2)...

Mishlei 19-24 (Apathy)

Mishlei 19-24 Apathy Key Concepts There are people who have fallen into the habit of responding to any challenge with apathy. They know that worthwhile things need to be done but they are no longer able to muster the energy or will to make it happen. People who are...

Mishlei 19-25 (Deterrence)

Mishlei 19-25 Deterrence Key Concepts How do you discourage a young person from engaging bad behaviour? How do you save him from having to suffer the consequences of actions that are sinful or self- destructive? It all depends on the attitude that individual has in...

Mishlei 19-26 (Parenting – Frustration)

Mishlei 19-26 Parenting – Frustration Key Concepts One of the major themes in the Book of Mishlei is the importance of raising good children. This is clearly a time consuming and demanding responsibility. However, if properly carried out, it can be rewarded by the...

Mishlei 19-27. (Wisdom – Discretion)

Mishlei 19-27 Wisdom – Discretion Key Concepts It is important to engage in the study and contemplation of Mussar (lessons in moral discipline) on a regular basis. The time spent in Mussar activities is essential for each person’s character development. It enables the...

Mishlei 19-29. (Suffering)

Mishlei 19-29 Suffering Key Concepts This last proverb of our chapter corresponds to the the parshah of Ki Savo which we read as each year draws to a close. The parshah opens with an expression of gratitude for Hashem’s blessings and a plea for future blessings in the...

Mishlei 20-01. Intoxication

Mishlei 20-01 Intoxication  Key Concepts What drives a person to drink? Perhaps he is unconsciously seeking the reward of an elevated state of mind. In this state he has the impression that he is thinking more clearly with greater insight. The drink seems to free him...

Mishlei 20-02. Recklessness

Mishlei 20-02 Recklessness  Key Concepts A person may be exposed to a dangerous situation at any time. Life is a precious gift, and the Creator expects every person to take reasonable steps to safeguard it. A foolish disregard of danger implies that the person is...

Mishlei 20-03 (Forbearance – Restraint)

Mishlei 20-03 Forbearance – Restraint Key Concepts If someone insults you or fails to treat you with the consideration that you feel you deserve, you may be resentful and if you are really hurt you might be tempted to strike back with a sharp remark or a corresponding...

Mishlei 20-04 (Rationalization)

Mishlei 20-04 Rationalization Key Concepts People have a tendency to disregard common sense when they are motivated to behave badly. For example, common sense teaches you that if you don’t study you will remain ignorant. But since studying is hard work, you may...

Mishlei 20-05 (Wisdom – Insight)

Mishlei 20-05 Wisdom – Insight  Key Concepts The Hebrew word דַעַת (Daas) may be translated as knowledge or wisdom, but refers to a special type of insight that has been internalized through personal experience and deep thought so that a person who is aware of his...

Mishlei 20-06 (Generosity – Reliability)

Mishlei 20-06 Generosity – Reliability  Key Concepts Most people agree on the importance of acting with kindness and helping their fellow man, especially when the other person is in desperate need. But when it comes to actually doing a good deed, what is it that...

Mishlei 20-07 (Righteousness – Integrity)

Mishlei 20-07 Righteousness – Integrity  Key Concepts Righteousness is the quality achieved by a person who is eager to do the right thing, even in an ambiguous situation. We refer to such a person as a tzadik. Integrity, which is a quality of self-discipline that the...

Mishlei 20-08 (Moral Purification)

Mishlei 20-08 Moral Purification (Pesukim 20:8 and 20:9)  Key Concepts Purification is a process of cleansing, that is removing impurities. In the case of moral purification, it means removing sin, both in the form of sinful behavior and sinful thoughts. Mishlei now...

Mishlei 20-10 (Commerce – Deception)

Mishlei 20-10 Commerce – Deception Key Concepts People who practice deception are using underhanded methods to take advantage of others. The deceivers are demonstrating a conviction that they are justified in what they do because of their superiority. Such an attitude...

Mishlei 20-11 (Character)

Mishlei 20-11 Character Key Concepts There are patterns of human behavior which are directly influenced by the person’s underlying character traits (middos) such as pride, compassion, and honesty. Mishlei points out that some character traits are even evident in a...

Mishlei 20-12 (Alertness)

Mishlei 20-12 Diligence – Alertness Key Concepts In order for a person to function in this world he needs to be aware of what is going on around him. To enable this awareness, Hashem provided him with a variety of sensing instruments, the most valuable of which are...

Mishlei 20-14 (Value)

Mishlei 20-14 Value (Pesukim 20:14 and 20:15) Key Concepts A recurring theme throughout Mishlei is the high value of Torah wisdom. Mishlei now expands on this concept by considering what determines the value of any object. If you choose to focus on what it costs to...

Mishlei 20-16 (Commitments – Collateral)

Mishlei 20-16 Commitments – Collateral Key Concepts As we have previously seen, Mishlei strongly discourages the practice of providing loan guarantees because it makes the foolish guarantor subject to unexpected risk. Mishlei is concerned that since guarantors may be...

Mishlei 20-17 (Sweetness)

Mishlei 20-17 Sweetness Key Concepts When you taste something sweet, you are inclined to want more of it. After all, if it is sweet, it must be good. But when you think about it, you realize that sweetness can be misleading. Sweet things may taste good, but they can...

Mishlei 20-18 (Planning)

Mishlei 20-18 Planning Key Concepts Much of the thinking that is continously going on in a person’s mind involves planning for the future, both near term and long term. Mishlei advises that a person should never initiate important activity without thinking it through...

Mishlei 20-19 (Confidentiality)

Mishlei 20-19 Confidentiality Key Concepts As we have seen in Mishlei 11-13, information can cause great harm if disclosed recklessly. For this reason, Mishlei encourages us to avoid contact with people who are careless about how they use information that comes to...

Mishlei 20-20 (Parenting – Resentment)

Mishlei 20-20 Parenting – Resentment Key Concepts The subject of this proverb is a person whose resentment of parents is so intense that he feels the need to utter a curse against them. Clearly, the resentment goes against the natural instinct of a child that has...

Mishlei 20-21 (Inheritance)

Mishlei 20-21 Inheritance Key Concepts Property acquired through inheritance from a parent causes mixed emotions. On the one hand, there is a sense of empowerment brought about by sudden wealth, but on the other hand there is the bitter knowledge that it was the loss...

Mishlei 20-22 (Retribution)

Mishlei 20-22 Retribution Key Concepts One of the most powerful motivations for human action is the desire to take revenge for a wrong that has been done to you. Surely, if you have been offended, you should not be prevented from demanding retribution! And yet the...

Mishlei 31-01 (A Mother’s Challenge)

NOTE: For a PDF copy of this segment, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev 2] Key Concepts of Mishlei 31-01 (A Mother’s Challenge) This is the first segment of a chapter that addresses the role of women in Jewish...

Mishlei 31-02 (A Woman of Character)

NOTE: For a PDF copy of this segment, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev 4] Key Concepts of Mishlei 31-02 (A Woman of Character) Shlomo Hamelech closes the book of Mishlei with a song of praise and appreciation...

Mishlei Appendix 01 – Commerce

  Mishlei Appendix 01 – Commerce Weights and Measures   “Having a deceitful hand makes the man a pauper, but having a diligent hand of honest dealings will enrich him.” [Mishlei 10-04] Dishonesty. In commerce, a vendor’s deceitful hand, which cheats the...