There Are No Shortcuts in Character Refinement

There Are No Shortcuts in Character Refinement

In preparation for the fast of the 17th of Tamuz, 5774 (July 15, 2014), I offer here the words of Mishnah Berurah (549:1): “Every person is obligated to introspect on these [communal fast] days, and to examine one’s deeds and repent of them, for the principle obligation is not fasting… Fasting is merely a preparation for repentance (teshuvah). Therefore, those people who, when they fast, go on trips and engage in useless activities, have grasped the lesser obligation and forsaken the greater one. Nevertheless, one may not absolve oneself through repentance alone, for fasting on these days is a positive injunction from the prophets.”

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