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



View Complete List

May I Have This Dance?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

A Mate, not a Maid!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Torah Vs. TV
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759


Nobody Ever Promised We'd Understand
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

And What a Beginning it Was!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Count Your Blessings
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

It's Never Too Late
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Evil Without
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

An Enlightening Insight Into The Meaning of Gadol and Katan
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Either You're With Us, Or...
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

One Man
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Dog-matic Murder
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

> The Buck Stops Here
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Between Light and Darkness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

In His Sukkah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Straightforward and Upright
Shlomo Katz - 5762

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information