Chapter Four (Part 3)
Let's spell out some of the finer distinctions among these traits.
While it might be good to be "stingy" (better yet -- given that our choice
of terms is fairly arbitrary -- "thrifty" or "frugal") when you're truly
short of funds and need to save whatever you have for essentials, and it
might be good to be "extravagant" with praise or love, it's most often
best to be simply but wholeheartedly "generous".
Though it would do us well sometimes to try to be more "daring"
(or "venturesome") with some life-choices and more "cowardly" (or "extra-
cautious") when it comes to our investments, for example, it's best to
be "courageous" (or "bravehearted") about things.
In as much as "brashness" has us seem self-assured and clever at first but
proves to be crass in the end, and since being "dull" (or "humdrum")
anesthetizes the soul, we'd do well to strive for even-keeled "simple
Given that "arrogance" is almost always loathsome and "meekness" is
inglorious and off-putting, simple and guileless "humility" is best.
Knowing that blow-hearted "boastfulness" and its counterpart, feigned and
contrived "humbleness", are always distasteful, we're encouraged to be
honestly "earnest" instead.
Since "indulgence" always implies a lack of decent self-restraint,
and "sloth" is actually rooted in too little self-respect, we should
strive for simple "contentment".
As "wrath" is dangerous, and "indifference" is selfish and lazy, we're
advised to foster "composure".
And finally, because "audacity" in the face of our wrongdoings signifies
out-and-out hubris while "bashfulness" is just too diffident, we're to
exhibit "shamefacedness" when we're wrong or wrong-headed.
Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org