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 PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Killer Peacemaker
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Vov of Connection-Vov of Division
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Moshe's Sales Pitch
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Not So Simple, Not So Mundane
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Tamid: From Start to Finish
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Seeing the Symphony
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

> The Red Heifer Reality
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Much Louder Than Words
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Finding Ourselves - It's The Rage
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

ArtScroll

Learning to Love What Is!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Body Language
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

About This We Cry!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

No Compromising with the Yetzer Hara!
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762

Of Transformation and Conformation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758



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