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Torah and the Professional World
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Wisdom for the Professional World
Rav Yisrael Salanter's Wisdom for the Professional World
Quotes from Rav Yisrael Salanter zt"l
based on Rav Dov Katz’s The Mussar Movement (vol. 1, pp. 300-310)

[Rabbi Yisrael Salanter zt”l,  the great 19th century Lithuanian Jewish sage, was the founder of the Mussar Movement, which strove to put character, inner life, and interpersonal relations high on the agenda of Jewish life.]

 
Character is man’s only real possession.
 
 
There is no greater sickness than “yeiush” (despondence).
 
 
Three things can be learned from a train: 
a) if you’re late a minute you can miss it; 
b) even a tiny move off the tracks causes a catastrophe; 
c) if you travel without a ticket you get punished.

 
 
   I wonder, how can one take even one step without the Talmud?
 
 
A little sense drowns in a sea of desires.
 
 
The world is like a short tablecloth spread out on a table.  When one pulls it closer to himself he leaves the second side bare.
 
 
Noone is as needy as the seeker of honor.
 
 
With regards to one’s self, one should always give precedence to his soul over his body.  With regards to others -- physical needs come first, for your friend’s physical needs are your spiritual ones.
 
 
One who wants be higher than others should not dig a pit under them, but lift himself up.
 
 
Man has the power to see great distances.  However, a little coin hides his vision.
 
 
Just like one checks an egg for a blood spot, so he should check every penny's kashrut.
 
 
Kashrut does not stop with all the laws of Pesach, but includes every law of Choshen Mishpat (civil and business law).
 
 
The lesson of a mistake is a great light.
 
 
If you are in the right -- try and stay right.
 
 
When confronting an issue, judge it thinking, “How would I deal with this during Neila on Yom Kippur?”
 
 
One involved in public service should keep these three rules:  a) do not get angry; b) do not get tired; c) do not just want to get things done with.
 
 
Not everything one thinks should be said; not all that is said should be written; and not all that is written should be published.
 

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