Friday, August 27, 2010

Character Development - The Jewish Way and Maimonides Laws of Teshuvah

At this time of year, as we write ourselves into the Book of Life, our attention turns to heshbon hanefesh - soul searching. And for that we look to our old friend Moses Maiminides.

Click here to find a complete version of Maimonides' Laws of Teshuvah (Repentance) online.

I've collected some materials on character development - the Jewish way, from a few sources, most notably Maimonides' "Laws of Personality and Character Development." You'll find some very interesting things here, including his focus on moderation in all things and especially in the care of the body - Maimonides WAS a physician after all.

See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5 (these are not divided up by chapter).

Note especially

2:3 - There are times when one shouldn't be moderate - there is no middle road with regard to arrogance and humility; we should all aim for Moses-esque super-humility.
2:4 - Cultivate silence.
2:5 - Enough with the kvetching already!
2:6 - Don't be a phony.
2:7 - Find middle ground between moroseness and being giddy
4:1 - Dr. Rambam's diet - only eat when you are hungry!
2:4 - Get 8 hours sleep
2:7 - Eat poultry first
2:11 - Avoid fruits (!)
2:15 - Exercise (and move those bowels, too!)
4:23 - A Torah sage needs to have these things in his community (includes a blood letter and a latrine)
5:7 - No Yelling!!
5:13 - Be honest!
6:3 - Love everyone

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