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"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3


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GENESIS — 2:25 shame

The Sages have said [of this verse] “Intellect is shame and shame is intellect.”  And they did not known the way of modesty nor have the ability to discriminate between good and evil until they ate from the Tree of Knowledge Genesis 3:7.  Thus, all living creatures, with the exception of man, do not have shame, not having wisdom.  And all who are wise of heart known the value of intellect and wisdom through which one attains to a knowledge of truth, and also an acknowledgment of the Oneness of his Creator, Blessed is He, and to His Divine service, and by means of which one may attain to the rank of anger.  And since the quality of wisdom is so great, it must be paralleled in greatness by its related trait, that of shame.  … One should exert himself to conduct himself in accordance with this noble trait and employ wisdom in cultivating it until it is implanted in his soul, to enthrone it above all his impulses, and to regard it as more important than his other traits, for through it one attains most of the virtues and guards himself against all unseemly traits.   TZADIK 81

GENESIS — 3:14 cursed

A parable: A king once met a desirer and an envier walking together on the road and said to them, “Let one of you ask for something and it will be given him, and the other will get twice as much.”  The envier did not want to ask first, envying his friend a double portion, and the desirer desired the double portion.  Finally, the desirer pressed the envier to ask first – whereupon he asked that they gouge out one of his eyes and both of his friend’s eyes!  How many evils proceed from envy! The primal serpent envied Adam and brought death to the world; and it was decreed upon him: “You shall walk upon your stomach and you shall eat dust.”  See also what happened to Cain, Korach, Bilam, Do’eg, Achitofel, Gechazi, Adoniah, Avshalom, and Uzziahu – who desired what was not theirs.  Not only did they not gain what they desired, but they lost what they possessed. Sotah 9b.  All of this should teach one to separate himself from envy and desire.  Let him reflect: If even what he has is not his, for on the morrow it may be gone, then what avails him, that is not his! Concerning this it is written Proverbs 27:1 “For you do not know what the day will bring.”  TZADIK 275

GENESIS — 6:11 lawlessness

The Holy One Blessed be He exiled the Jews among the nations only so that converts should be added to their numbers Pesachim 87b.  If the Jews deal with them without deceit, they will cleave to them. And the Holy One Blessed be He looked with disfavor upon the stealing of the wicked (this verse).  It is told Deuteronomy Rabbah 3:3 that the disciples of Rabbi Shimon ben Shatach, finding a precious stone hanging from the neck of a donkey that he had purchased from an Ishmaelite, brought it to him and said: “Our master, ‘The blessing of Hashem makes one rich’ Proverbs 10:22.  [i.e., This is a gift to you from G-d], to which he replied, “I bought a donkey; I did not buy a precious stone.”  Thus saying, he went and returned the stone to the Ishmaelite, who thereupon proclaimed: “Blessed is Hashem, the G-d of Shimon ben Shatach.”  TZADIK 403-305

GENESIS — 9:6 image

(Continued from Leviticus 11:43 abominate TZADIK 35). One’s body should be clean and not sweaty.  One should take care to wash his face, hands, and feet, and also his entire body at regular intervals, as we find in the case of Hillel the Elder Leviticus Rabbah 34:3: “When he took leave of his disciples and walked along with them, they asked him: ‘Where are you going?’ He answered: ‘To do a mitzvah.’  They asked: ‘Which mitzvah are you going to do?’ He answered: ‘To bathe in the bathhouse.’  They asked: “Is that a mitzvah?’ He answered: “Yes! Now if with respect to the statues of kings that are set up in theaters and circuses their caretaker polishes and washes them, for which he is not only fed but also brought up among the royal dignitaries, I, who have been created in the image of G-d and the likeness of G-d, as it is written [this verse], how much more so should this apply!”  TZADIK 37

GENESIS — 9:6 image

One should love his friends and all other Jews with perfect love, as it is written Leviticus 19:18: “And you should love your fellowman as yourself.”  And this is a great principle in the Torah: “What you hate, do not do to your friend” Shabbat 31a.  And even greater than this [is this verse].  Jerusalem Talmud Nedarim 9:4.  TZADIK 109

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