Dear Readers,

Do you want to be pious (literally, a chassid)? The sages in the Talmud advised us to adopt three behaviors to attain this goal:

  1. Not to damage others (physically or otherwise).
  2. To live by the ethical teachings of our sages.
  3. To observe the laws of blessings (on food, etc.).

On the surface, their advice seems to be questionable, since not harming others and being careful about blessings are basic requirements of Jewish law, not something extraordinary or pious.

The Rebbe explains that the sages here are referring to going beyond the letter of the law in these matters. For example, avoiding even possible harm to another, or paying extra attention to the meaning of the words we say before eating.

I’ve also heard it explained that everyone is surely expected to have a basic fulfillment of these three requirements. However, your personality and life experience can direct you to excel in one of these, and make that your life’s mission.

This week my parents will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, coinciding with their retirement and an “empty nest.” It’s a big moment of change, reflection and reality in our family. If anyone exemplifies the embodiment of these three traits, it would be them. My personal wish is that I can at least achieve one of them well.

Of course, offers great resources to get there, with our Talmud classes on laws of injuries, laws of blessings, and ethics!

The world needs more pious people—join the club today!

Moshe Rosenberg,
on behalf of the Editorial Team