Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Be Simple, Be Great

Rabbi Yehuda Heimowitz

His wit and warm smile are disarming — aren’t bona fide baalei mussar supposed to be harsh, stoic, demanding? Growing up on the streets of Tel Aviv, yet finding spiritual refuge in the halls of Slabodka and Ponevezh, elder mashgiach Rav Dov Yaffe has a piercing understanding of our inner struggles, yet knows we’ll be happiest when we let ourselves harness our ability to grow.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The term baal mussar conjures up an image of a critical person, constantly seeking to point out what others are doing wrong. Others might envision a somewhat morose individual, seated in a tiny wooden shul in a shtetl repeating words of Chazal over and over to break his yetzer hara. To a third group, a baal mussar might be someone a little more cheery, but it doesn’t really matter because they consider the title to be long retired, buried with some of the great mashgichim of yesteryear. To meet the zekan hamashgichim, Harav Hatzaddik Dov Yaffe shlita, is to break many perceptions about a baal mussar. In complete control of every muscle in his body, the Mashgiach exudes the self-authority of Kelm. Yet his wit and warm smile are disarming, making you wonder if this could really be a bona fide baal mussar. But then he starts talking, selecting his words carefully before uttering them, and you see the image of his rebbeim, Rav Eizik Sher, Rav Elya Lopian, and Rav Chatzkel Levenstein shining forth. And as a quintessential baal mussar, Eretz Yisrael’s elder Mashgiach has a message for every single Jew — man and woman, old and young, working and learning: If you want to be happy in this world, you have to learn mussar.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you