Middot - Character Traits

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Arye MinkovRespect For Others
The twenty-five thousand pupils of Rebbe Akiva all died in the days of the Omer Untill Lag Ba'Omer. We should learn to respect each other espcially on these days.
  • How Much of a Tzedaka Preference to Relatives?
    I learned that one should prioritize giving tzedaka to relatives over others. I give a nice amount of tzedaka, almost exclusively out of the family (which also has a few poor people), which I feel is more altruistic. Can you explain this halacha and give some halachic guidelines?
  • Finding a Fruit with Kedushat Shvi’it
    My wife shopped at a special kedushat shvi’it fruit distribution. A few hours later, I spotted on the walkway to our building (of seven apartments) a single fruit. I took it home and asked my wife, who said it made sense that it fell from her, but asked how we can know it is not from a neighbor who might have also bought. Do I have to put up a sign or ask neighbors (whom I trust) if it could be theirs? Is it more lenient because there is no ownership of kedushat shvi’it fruit?
  • Absolute Standards
    It is very common for people to judge their self-worth and personal achievements relative to those of others. In fact, whether we like to admit it or not we may even wish that someone else achieves less so that we can be in a higher position.
  • Saving Life With One Word
    A drop of encouragement may seem like a drop in the ocean, but sometimes it can save a life from drowning in sadness.
  • A Matter of Life and Death
    One morning, Shmuel heard someone arguing with Rabbi Yehudah Mutzafi, Rabbi Eliyahu's assistant. He was telling her that Rabbi Eliyahu had to leave and that she should come back the following day. But she was insistent, explaining that her question was concerning a matter of life and death.
  • Politeness, Manners & Etiquette- the True Israeli Approach!
    Sometimes we find Torah scholars, Yeshiva boys, and sometimes Israeli's, who look down upon certain manners, politeness and etiquette as external or western nonsense. Rav Kook teaches here how to explain to children, as well as the young, idealistic & religiously motivated, that these seemingly technical and outward acts contain true Torah and Israeli importance & ideals.
  • Sticks And Stones - The Power of an Insult
    "...but words can never harm me." Why do words hurt so much, they're nothing more than puffs or air with a sound wave attached, aren't they?
  • May I Keep the Skeletons in the Closet?
    What information must we reveal about ourselves while arranging shidduchim for our children (or for ourselves)? And at what point must we disclose it?
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