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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Must Share from Mishlei

I ran across what follows in Mishlei a while back and it hit me like a ton of bricks because it described people that I've interacted with over time that lacked integrity, even though they talked a good talk.

In light of the my recent postings, I thought it was worth posting and always relevant. Translation is from Feldheim's Malbim on Mishley. Commentary is from Rabbi Meir Leibush Malbim. Note that this selections comes from the perek which begins with the case of a man becoming a surety for his neighbor, yet giving a handshake to the stranger. The man has promised the same thing to two people and has to save himself. He is instructed those who promise what they don't have not to sleep. He must shed his external trapping to save his integrity and the fight is an uphill battle. He is then instructed to regard the way of the ant, the ant who works with great independence and diligence as he stores for the winter.

Mishlei captures the human condition and the words are just as powerful today as any. The picture Shlomo HaMelech paints is so very vivid.

Perek Vav (12-14)

"An irreligious person, a man of iniquity, walks with a perverse mouth; winking with his eyes, scraping with his feet, pointing with his fingers. Treacherous fickleness in his heart, he devises evil continually; he sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; all at once he will be broken, and without remedy."

An irreligious man who flaunts the commandments between man and his maker and is evil toward his fellowman can be recognized by seven characteristics, listed here:

1. His speech: he attacks wisdom, the principles of the moral law;
2. His actions: "Winking with his eyes" denotes that he disregards the command "you shall not turn astray after your eyes"
d. His movements: "Scraping with his feet" implies that he rushes to do evil;
4. His hands: "he points with his fingers"
5. His thoughts: "treacherous fickleness is in his heart" -- in matters of faith he is heretical
6. "He devises evil" in his relations with others.
7. "He sows discord" among others, acting as a source of social tension.


Fireproof said...

People haven't changed.

(BTW, Shlomo haMelech didn't really write sefer Mishlei)

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