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Mishlei

Mishlei 19-06 (Generosity)

Mishlei 19-06 Generosity Key Concepts When someone is blessed with good fortune he has the opportunity to befriend others by helping people in financial need. Similarly a person who is blessed with Torah knowledge has the opportunity to share his wisdom with others...

Mishlei 19-08 (Heart)

Mishlei 19-08 Heart Key Concepts A person’s physical heart occupies a central and active role in the survival of his body throughout his lifetime.  It is also a metaphor for his mind, character, and personality, all of which are spiritual qualities that affect his...

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 (Intelligence)

Mishlei 19-11 Intelligence Key Concepts Basic human intelligence 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 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 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 can be a source of bitter...

Mishlei 19-15 (Inactivity)

Mishlei 19-15 Inactivity 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 is when we justify our...

Mishlei 19-17 (Reimbursement)

Mishlei 19-17 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 survive. Each...

Mishlei 19-18 (Patience)

Mishlei 19-18 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 accompanied by...

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 Truth 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 successive generations over thousands of...

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)

Mishlei 19-23 Fear 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) How much...

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 (Frustration)

Mishlei 19-26 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 happiness a...

Mishlei 19-27 (Discretion)

Mishlei 19-27 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 person...

Mishlei 19-28 (Disingenuousness)

Mishlei 19-28 Disingenuousness Key Concepts A disingenuous speaker is one who seems believable and honest although he is intentionally deceiving his listeners. He uses tricks of the language to introduce selected ambiguities into his conversation. In this way he...

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 (Restraint)

Mishlei 20-03 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 action. Even...

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 instinctively excuse yourself from...

Mishlei 20-05 (Insight)

Mishlei 20-05 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 accumulated...

Mishlei 20-06 (Reliability)

Mishlei 20-06 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 actually motivates...

Mishlei 20-07 (Righteousness and Integrity)

Mishlei 20-07  Righteousness and Integrity Key Concepts The relationship between the concepts of righteousness (tzidkus) and integrity (temimus) was discussed earlier in the commentary on proverb 11-05. Righteousness is the quality achieved by a person who is eager to...

Mishlei 20-08 (Moral Purification)

Mishlei 20-08 Moral Purification (20:08 and 20:09) 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 speaks to...

Mishlei 20-10 (Deception)

Mishlei 20-10 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 is hated...

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 (midos) 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 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 his eyes and...

Mishlei 20-14 (Value)

Mishlei 20-14 Value 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 buy the object or make it,...

Mishlei 31-01 (A Mother’s Challenge) [31-1 thru 31:9]

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...

Mishlei 31-02 (A Woman of Character) [31:10 thru 31:31]

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...