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derech eretz


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#1 outofthebox

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:54 PM

Derech Eretz in this context means good Midos, i.e. a healthy personality. Rav Chaim Vital asks why there is no Mitzvah in the Torah for a person to have good Midos. His answer is that the entire Torah depends on a person;s Midos. Midos are a prerequisite to fulfilling the Torah. Imagine a selfish, hot-tempered, ungrateful, jealous resentful, narcissistic, intellectually dishonest epicurean trying to fulfill the Torah. A prerequisite to successful fulfillment of the Mitzvos is a wholesome personality. That's דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה



#2 Guest_outofthebox_*

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 02:47 PM

so why not just say middos tovos kodmo l'torah? it just seems like there's more to it...
another petty question i had was on the issue of doing 40 days of tehillim. what's the source of it? why does it work? and what does it work for?
thanks

#3 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 07:41 PM

I'm not sure what happened here but my answer to your question above came out in your name. So for our confused readership, the person called "outofthebox" asked me what Derech Eretz Kadmah LaTorah means. The first post in this forum was my response.

The reason the Mishna did not say מדות טובות קדמה לתורה is because the phrase מדות טובות means much more than positive personality traits. It is used to describe basically any good thing. For example,

ילקוט שמעוני תורה פרשת יתרו רמז רסח

עתיד המקום ליתן לנו שש מדות טובות ארץ ישראל העוה"ב והעולם חדש ומלכות בית דוד כהונה ולויה


And even when it refers to character traits, it often refers to Bain Adam LaMakom as well. It can mean any positive trait a person possesses.

So Derech Eretz really is the accurate way to say it.

As far as the 40 days, I don't know of any Makor for it.

#4 taon

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:40 PM

While I certainly dont know the source, the 40 day Tehillim works simply because you're davening so much!

#5 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:59 PM

Then why 40 and not 30 or 60?

It's fine to say a lot of Tehillim but these people are claiming there's something special about 40 days specifically - no more, no less. I don't know any Makor for such a thing and I do not encourage it.

#6 shaya

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:14 PM

isnt the mekor a reb elimeilech who says i think in "tzetel koton" to do something 40 times to change - behavior, or bad midah?
Start with God - the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

#7 achdus

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:21 AM

there are many many stories very interesting ones how right after the 40 days boys and girls got engaged, maybe its like "the secret" if you believe in something you will attract it.
when i grew up i was told that sometimes what the "buba" did was not questioned, even it had no mekor, so maybe this falls into this category

#8 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:08 PM


isnt the mekor a reb elimeilech who says i think in "tzetel koton" to do something 40 times to change - behavior, or bad midah?

Well that wouldn't be a valid Makor for this because he's talking there about breaking a habit. Sheviras HaMidos. So for example, if a person has a hard time learning, he should learn with all his strength for 40 days and that will break his bad habit. But it doesn't say that if you pray for 40 days straight that your prayers will be answered more. On the contrary - the Tzetil Koton is suggesting that the 40 day thing is just to break you out of your stupor, but then you should be able to continue for longer without your bad habit, on your own. None of this has anything to do with how many days you need to pray in order to get your prayers answered, and nothing to do with shiduchim or baking challahs or anything like that.

#9 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:24 PM


there are many many stories very interesting ones how right after the 40 days boys and girls got engaged, maybe its like "the secret" if you believe in something you will attract it.
when i grew up i was told that sometimes what the "buba" did was not questioned, even it had no mekor, so maybe this falls into this category

On the contrary - our Bubahs did not hear of this 40 day thing. It's a new invention.

And the Bubbah thing only works because the Bubahs were overseen by our Choshuve Zaidehs. Here we're talking mostly single girls whose mothers and grandmothers themselves never did such a thing (well maybe mothers, but that's about it).

The fact that there are interesting stories should not motivate us to accept it as valid. It's dangerous to make up your own Segulos, even if they work - especially if they work! But I am willing to wager that the stories, the ones that are true anyway, are nothing more than the result of what statistics say would be randomly produced among the population. There are probably equally impressive stories among an equal amount of people who prayed 30 days and 50 days as well.

We know that prayer works, but I would not tell people to stop at 40 days. Keep praying, and the main thing is not how many days you pray but אחד המרבה ואחד הממעט ובלבד שיכוון לבו לשמים.



#10 FS613

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:30 PM

L'Chvod Rabbi Shapiro, Shlita:

 

I just finished listening to your Shiur on "Shmini - Kol HaMosif Goreah."

 

1) Based on what you said about there being no reason to require specifically 40 women to do the Mitzvah of Hafroshas Challah as a Zchus for someone;

 

what would be the correct way to harness the spiritual power of the Eis Ratzon of when Hafroshas Challah is done,

 

say, for example, for the Rifuah of a sick person who R"L has Yeneh Machlah?

 

Would it be to simply ask as many women as possible to devote that particular Hafroshas Challah as a Zchus for the Rifuah of the sick person?

 

2) Is going beyond what Hashem wanted them to do as Cohanim, the reason that Nadav and Avihu died?

 

Thank you.



#11 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:44 PM

1) If there is a choleh you should pray for him, and get others to pray for him. There are plenty of times that are Eis Ratzon. You don't need to single any one out. When you ask someone to pray, you would not need to, for example, specify that "you should please pray during the time the congregation is davening," which Chazal say is an Eis Ratzon. And why ask only women? Men can pray, too, you know.

 

2) Not sure what you mean.



#12 FS613

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:39 AM

If I understood correctly (and please correct me if I'm wrong);

I believe that you mentioned in the Audio Shiur that we are supposed to serve Hashem in the way the HE wants us to serve him, according to how the Torah tells us to serve Him, and not in ways that have no reason or that we are not supposed to do.

 

Did Nadav and Avihu die because they tried to serve Hashem in the Mishkan, in a way that they were not supposed to?

(That is, I believe that they brought a Korban that they were not supposed to bring?)

 

Thank you.



#13 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:30 PM

Nadav and Avihu definitely thought that what they were doing is within the parameters of what Hashem wants us to do. They were wrong of course - what they did was an Aveirah. But they would never be guilty of willingly thinking that they can just make up Avodas Hashem. That's too low for them.