Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Ohr Yisrael: R’ Salanter’s Innovations (8)

Since there’s so much to take in on when we’re trying to better ourselves and so many books to cull from, and since the idea of the depths of the soul and of it drawing close to G-d is so awe-inspiring, we’re likely to get overwhelmed. So we’d need to keep things in perspective if we’re ever to succeed, and we’d do well to grow in stages.

In fact, R’ Salanter points out, keeping things down to a smaller but steady stream of inspiration as opposed to taking in whole swaths of it is like the difference between catching sight of stars in the heavens as a whole, and of looking at one of them through a telescope. For while each star seems quite tiny and inconsequential in the heavens, in fact thanks to the telescope we can see that each is quite complex and that many are even larger than Earth. So we’d need to maintain a perspective about the size and complexity of whatever we tackle if we’re to succeed.

So R’ Salanter suggested that what we’d need to do is to set aside a specific time each and every day to study Mussar texts. Do that, he offers, and you’ll succeed little by little. That is, you won’t be the sort of person you’re capable of being right off, but you’ll find yourself avoiding more and more minor infractions day after day, thanks to your practice.

You’d be more likely to avoid idle chatter when you concentrate on Mussar study day by day, for example, which is so demeaning and fruitless, and you’re more likely to avoid words of lashon harah (slander and defamation) day by day. You’ll also have engaged in more Torah study and self-improvement in the process, thanks to your new habit of daily study.


 

Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org

Rabbi Feldman's new book, Bachya Ibn Pakuda's The Duties of the Heart, is now available! Order Now


 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Daughters of Tzlofchad
Shlomo Katz - 5758

A Question of Faith
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Final Destination
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Mourning on the 9th of Av: The Reasons
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Unquestioned Answers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Forgotten Oaths
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

ArtScroll

Motivational Techinque
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Marriage Vows
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

A Judgement Call
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

> Hidden Yet Loving
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

A New Chapter
Shlomo Katz - 5771

YomTov, vol. XIII # 3
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Future Built on the Past
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Appreciation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Power of Prayer
Shlomo Katz - 5763



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