Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

"Eight Chapters"

Chapter Four (Part 5)

There's another sort of extreme that Rambam is opposed to, as well. We'd depict it as the tendency to react weakly and tepidly to character faults disguised as virtues.

People guilty of that might for example "refer to an indifferent person as 'tolerant'", a "lazy person as 'content'", or they might take "someone whos ascetic simply because hes lethargic by nature (to be) 'temperate'", in Rambam's words.

The truth is that indifferent people *aren't* tolerant or easy going; they're simply apathetic and reticent to change; truly tolerant people are so because they believe that that's a character ideal and they work hard at maintaining it. Lazy people aren't content with their lot, they simply don't want to bother bettering themselves (either materially or spiritually). And lethargic people only avoid excesses because they don't want to expend the effort to get them; but they'd surely acquiesce to them immediately if those things was right in front of them.

(But, why do we misread character failings like that? Oftentimes because we're only too willing to settle for spiritual mediocrity.) Rambam then makes the point that "its important to realize that we only acquire virtues and flaws ... when we repeat the deeds associated with them over and over again for a long period of time". He's thus clearly challenging us to do as many good things as we can in the course of the day in order to absorb and internalize goodness.


Text Copyright 2006 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

From Hand to Heart
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Needs and Desires
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Absolute Security
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

> There Must Be an Anochi in Here Somewhere!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

The Highest Form of Praise
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Creating Holiness
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

ArtScroll

No Middle Road
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Life Choices
Shlomo Katz - 5765

See What Can Be Seen
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Choice D'var Torah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

Total Control
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Signs From Heaven
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Blessings: Teaching Appreciation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Constructive Destruction
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Beis Ha-Mikdash--Taking Things Personally
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

The Value of Pricelessness
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information