Monthly Archive: January 2008

What is Mussar? 0

What is Mussar?

Rav Yisrael Salanter’s 125th yahrzeit begins tonight (25 Shevat), and while searching for grist for that mill for an appropriate entry, some Avodah discussion sparked some thoughts. Foundation Stories There are two foundation stories...

Why I’m a Man 0

Why I’m a Man

My son Shuby said something interesting to me over lunch today. Shuby is a very cute nine-year-old little boy with Downs. His ability to actually articulate the words isn’t caught up with his ability...

Perishus 0


It is difficult to understand the exact limits of perishus (restraint) by looking at the relevent chapters of Mesilas Yesharim. (In all of the following, I am using quotes from the on-line copy of...

Prayers and Requests 0

Prayers and Requests

Yaaqov avinu lying on his deathbed, tells his son Yoseif: וַֽאֲנִ֞י נָתַ֧תִּֽי לְךָ֛ שְׁכֶ֥ם אַחַ֖ד עַל־אַחֶ֑יךָ אֲשֶׁ֤ר לָקַ֨חְתִּי֙ מִיַּ֣ד הָֽאֱמֹרִ֔י בְּחַרְבִּ֖י וּבְקַשְׁתִּֽי׃ Also, I gave you one portion (or perhaps, “one thing, [the city...

Neither Random nor Predetermined 0

Neither Random nor Predetermined

Free Will is difficult to define. We’re saying that people make choices that are neither predetermined by outside causes, and yet non-random. Moshe Koppel, in his book “Metahalakhah” proves that such a domain exists,...

Rav Dessler: 25 Teves 4

Rav Dessler: 25 Teves

Today (25 Teves 5714, 1964CE) is Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler’s yahrzeit. Rav Dessler (or REED, as he is called on Avodah) was a paragon of Kelm Mussar, who was willing to merge that worldview...