Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Duties of the Heart

Gate Nine: "The Gate of Abstinence"
Ch .4

Is there some sort of "litmus test" for piety? Ibn Pakudah seems to offer us one here when he sets out the criteria for determining who's practicing the sort of exceptional abstinence only such rare souls would -- and which only they should.

But just know that we'll be laying out some obviously ideal, truly rare traits. For the truth be known, there are very few such lofty individuals in the world at any one time (see Sukkah 45b). In any event, if you notice someone manifesting these traits, you can assume he or she's indeed abstaining from things we love but is also achieving states-of-being far higher than our own (which we'd ironically like to achieve, too -- if we only didn't have to abstain from those things).

The pious are said to be "happy (even) while grieving", "all–embracing yet very humble", "calm, retentive, appreciative ... and harmless", "especially wise", "persistent, yet neither hasty nor foolish", "righteous when angry and compassionate when appealed to", "genuinely friendly, truly devoted and trustworthy", "undemanding and generous", "grateful in adversity and able to suffer patiently", "generous even when denied something", "softer than butter and sweeter than honey", "sagacious, enthusiastic, noble, dependable, mighty and never dishonorable", "able to only rarely complain", "pleasant and pure", "able to take everything anyone else does to be purer than their own deeds and to see everyone as more blameless than they", and "aware of their faults and cognizant of their failings". They also "love G–d and hastens to do His will", "dwell with the poor, love the righteous, and are faithful to people of truth" and most significantly, they "accept upon themselves all the duties of the heart" we'd cited before.

They also "bear no grudges and covet nothing", "neither mock nor speak ill of anyone", "despise dominance and hate control", "never laugh to excess", "accept G-d's judgments and master their yetzer harah", "never speak arrogantly against someone who harms them", "never occupy themselves with things that don't avail", "are never vengeful when mistreated and never remind anyone of how they'd harmed him", "never disclose the concealed nor divulge secrets", and they "never take revenge, or stay angry for long".

May G-d grant us the good fortune to meet with such individuals and learn from their gentility and holiness.


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online


ARTICLES ON TZAV AND PESACH:

View Complete List

Something Great and Awesome
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

'Minding' Our Own Business
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

God's Commandments: The Key to a Healthier Jewish Society
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Who Knows One?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Ordered Freedom
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5775

Another Link in the Chain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

ArtScroll

Double Entendre In the Word
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

All Alone
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Room for a Broom
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Matzah and Guideposts
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Commandments Increase Free-Will
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

> 4 Seder Cups & 1 Yiddishe Cup
Jon Erlbaum - 0

You Want Me to Kill an Innocent Animal?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

The Eternal Impact of the Exodus
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Fitting Work
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760



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