Introduction to Shaarei Yosher

I recently had the honor of translating the introduction to Rav Shimon Shkop‘s Shaarei Yosher. My love of this piece is only partly because Rav Shimon was the rebbe of my rebbe, Rav Dovid Lifshitz.

In a few short pages, Rav Shimon defines holiness, gives the key to happiness and contentment, explains the path to chessed (lovingkindness), and the relationship between mussar and the rest of Torah. His answers to these questions are based on ideas we as products of today’s culture, can very well relate to; for example, chessed is defined in terms of a healthy notion of one’s own value, not an abnegation of self.

In case you missed the earlier links, the document is here (starting in English at one end, and a scan of the Hebrew starting from the other), and the Wikipedia page on Rav Shimon, here.

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