Ethics of Speech, by Ramban

I recently bought A Letter for the Ages (Iggeres HaRamban): The Ramban’s Ethical Letter. This is a short (3 pages in English) letter that Nahmanides (a.k.a. Ramban) wrote to his son. I will likely share brief excerpts from time to time and maybe a reflection.

Accustom yourself to speak gently to all people at all times. This will protect you from anger — a most serious character flaw which causes one to sin.

About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in ethics, Judaism, messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ethics of Speech, by Ramban

  1. ltverberg says:

    Looks great – I ordered mine already. You can preview it at Google books:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=85PBFio7KNgC&pg=PR13&dq=Ramban+Ethical+Letter&cd=4#v=onepage&q=Ramban%20Ethical%20Letter&f=false

    Here’s a quote that will make you want to read more:

    According to Ramban, God insists that we display kindness towards animals, not so much because of His concern for these creatures, but because of His concern for us. If we act unkindly towards a feeling, living creature, we implant a streak of cruelty within ourselves. God, however, desires that we sculpt our personalities to imitate His perfect ways: Just as the Almighty is caring, merciful and compassionate, so must we be. (page viii)

    In my opinion, this is really what Torah study should be – asking how it teaches us to reflect God’s lovingkindness.

  2. ltverberg (Lois):

    Ah, a fellow lover of good books on ethics and devekut.

    What book are you working on? Tell us more about it.

    Derek Leman

  3. ltverberg says:

    It’s tentative title is “Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus,” and it will be a sequel to “Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus” that was published by Zondervan in March 2009. I’m the sole author this time.

    While “Sitting at the Feet” was a basic overview of Jewish custom and culture, “Walking in the Dust” will explore how Jesus’ Jewish context calls us to live. It will look at the wisdom of Eastern culture and Jewish practice that Jesus knew, and look at some of his teachings in light of their Jewish context.

    The themes of ethics and devakut will certainly be a significant part of it, because they’ve taught me so much about discipleship.

    Thanks for asking, Derek.

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