Inspired by Reb Kalonymos Kalman's ideal of a group of people coming together with the common goal of enhancing their service of God, increasing their sensitivity to all things spiritual, strengthening their love of acheinu kol beis Yisrael, and unlocking the enormous potential that we all have to cleave to the Almighty.

Interaction and discussion of practical ideas and concepts toward this end, culled from any Torah true source is welcome and appreciated.

Observations and personal experiences are also welcome; the point is to grow!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rav Yisroel Salanter

Pursuant to Neil's post on Reb Yisroel's yahrzhiet:

From the 1800's until today there have been many calls to reform Judasim. Reb Yisroel's vision was similar. But instead of reforming Judaism Reb Yisroel, strove to reform Jews!

He never wrote books but we have his famous iggeres hamussar which opens "ha'odom chofshi bi'dimyono vi'assur bi'musskalo" - Man's imagination is unrestrained while his intellect is bound. His imagination leads him to stray and graze in foreign pastures, assuring him of the great pleasures that wait for him. His intellect says "Hold on buddy, life is about hard work, restraint, delaying gratification, working towards spiritual goals etc. etc."

So when it's Miami Beach in the sun with a pina colada and many potential "Rebbetzins" in the area, against leaning four hours of gemara followed by a mussar seder where he takes responsibility for his failures in life and thinks of ways to improve his character - who wins?

What time is the flight down south?!

Reb Yisroel reminded the world that what our imagination offers may SEEM enticing but a wise man with a head on his shoulders will get a shtender, a gemara, a mesillas yesharim and begin to create one of the long lost species of our race.

A human being.

A mentsch.

A reflection of G-d Himself right here in the alma di'shikra.

זכות הצדיקים יעזור ויגן ויושיע!!

Love and blessings!:)

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