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Changing Your Character - part II (read yellow and blue)

Part 1 Gate 6

The Following are what One Needs to go to the Opposite Extreme.

Be careful of all forms of anger, irritation, and arrogance, even for members of your household. And if a man is insolent with you don't answer him. Be of those that are insulted but who don't insult. Because of this it is written "but they that love Him shall be as the sun when it goes forth in its might" (Shoftim 5:31). And "haaver al midosecha" (overlook and forgive) to all who sin against you and don't feel any pain even in your heart because it is good for you since "whoever overlooks over others' wronging, they (upstairs) overlook his sins (measure for measure, Talmud Rosh Hashana 17a)". And if you had an intelligent eye, you would seek out people who would bother you - because it is like seeking life.

And receive every man with simcha (joy) even if he is your enemy because through this he will switch to becoming a friend and the merit will be yours. And all your words should be calm and in a low voice, lest you enter in the boundary of anger. And remove sadness and worry from your heart and you will thereby remove evil from your flesh. Because it is a trap for you to remove the holy spirit from you. And run away from Rabanus (being a Rabbi) which shortens a man's years. And distance yourself from unnecessary speech and from lies, flattery, frivolity (excessive clowning around), and lashon hara (evil speech), because they are the groups which do not receive the Divine presence in the World to Come. And hold on to humbleness which brings to Ruach HaKodesh. And be like the doorstep which everyone treads (very humble) for big [people] or small [people]. And block your ears from hearing slander and evil speech. And be like a mute who does not open his mouth except for torah and mitzvos, and for the necessary business dealings, and for receiving every person with a pleasant face and pleasant talk. And do not praise your good actions to others because you will lose your reward and furthermore you will receive punishment for it. There are other things which I wrote in gate 5, see there, and for love of conciseness, I didn't repeat them here. (quote from Gate 5:

"be joyful, even during times of suffering, love all people even gentiles, don't be jealous for anything because like the shadow of the day is our time on the land, hate and call vanity all matters of this world, and eat bread with salt, etc. (a reference to Pirkei Avos 6:4), don't desire anything of the vanities of this world, and run away with all your strength from serara (dominion over others) which buries its possesor."

And now, we will establish a general medicine to save oneself from all the sicknesses of the soul. And they are 3 things, because the principle faults of a man and the causes of his damages are 3 things.

1. The physical [side of man] causes him to forgot the good for him to make him sin. (i.e. Basically, G-d took an animal and an angel and POOOF! combined them together. The animal part just wants to be a lazy, good-for-nothing, gorilla.)

2. Because it (the animal side) gives in his heart that there is a continuum to a good day that it will continue to be good (i.e. just like such and such indulgence is good, so too will it continue like this forever. And so he doesn't prepare for the afterlife.)

3. Even if he puts to heart to remember, behold he will be even more at fault because he will say in his heart, "what will I eat when I'm 70 years old." And this is harder than the first two.

Therefore please do my son and save yourself from these 3 sinners of Israel. Because corresponding to the first, put your eyes always, do not let your spirit be hasty to do any action and to speak any [even] small word until you will be patient, patient in your thought whether or not you should do or speak. Because the fruit of hastiness is regret and there is no more repair to return it as before.

Corresponding to the second, put the fear of G-d on your face. Do not remove from your face the fear of the day of death and placing in the grave until rotting [of the flesh] while his flesh becomes food for the worms, and the judgment of "chibut hakever" (the beating of the grave), and the judgment of Gehinom, and the great day of judgment for all who came to the world. Because even Shmuel who was considered as great as Moshe and Aharon was afraid of it (Talmud Chagiga 4b).

Corresponding to the third, he should acquire the trait of bitachon (trust in G-d) in truth, because His eyes are on all the ways of man to give to him like his ways (what he deserves). And man's actions and also his strategies do not increase or decrease at all [the money that he earns] (this last point requires alot of background information for beginners, to be understood properly), because "the race is not for the swift". And he should throw his needs on Him (G-d), like they said "fortunate is the man who does not forget You, and the man who strengthens himself in You, because those who seek You will never fall, ,and those who trust in You will not be shamed forever." 

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