Anthology Topics:Cruelty  2 Erev Rav  3 Father  4 The First Man  5 Forefathers  6 Heretics 7 The Holy Temple  8 LimbsLove of G-d  10 Man  11 The Nations of the World 12 Prophecy 13 Reproof  14 Reward and Punishment 15 Suffering  16 Swiftness  17 Torah   18 Torah Study  19 The World to ComeB”H

gaonpicB”H Excerpts from An Anthology of the Gaon by

Rabbi Moshe Zuriel {Tzuriel}

A Selection of sayings of the Vilna Gaon regarding beliefs, extracted from most of the writings of his disciples, of those faithful to him, and from some of his own writings.

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There are those who chastise the people by telling them of the severe punishment intended for them, but do not teach them how to improve themselves in the future, and there are those who heal, with their advice – to Proverbs 10/20, 12/18; see also to Isaiah 1/6.

Some reprove with harsh words and are unsuccessful, while others do so with soft words – to Proverbs 10/20.

He who reproves his friend honestly he will be loved more than one who (falsely) flatters – to Proverbs 28/23.

In accordance to the intensification of the love, the greater the reproof – to Proverbs 27/5.

At the beginning a person must control his inclinations and conquer them – this is called mussar , imposing morality. Then the time comes ”of let us take account”, to open one’s eyes and oversee one’s ways, to know how to save himself from an obstacle, and not to invert the order – to Rabba bar Bar-Hanna, Bava Batra 78 : ”the governors will therefore say ”.

A person willing to accept reproof and morality will merit to lead them all – to Proverbs 21/28.

Mussar is chastisement/suffering, Tochacha (reproof) is by words – to Proverbs 10/16.

It is good to reprove another person, for even if he does not obey the person reprimanding him, the one that offered reproof, will enjoy the reward accruing to the other for his mitzvahs, while the punishment for the transgressions made by the person that reprimanded, will be visited upon the head of the person who stubbornly rejects the reproof – to Proverbs 12/14, 13/21, 21/12 (the source of this is in the writings of the sainted Ari, Sha’ar Ha-Gilgulim, pp. 55, 172 according to Hagiga 15A: if the righteous person is deemed worthy, he enjoys his portion and that of his fellow in the Garden of Eden).

Hokhaeh tokhiah eth ‘amitekha, ”you must surely reprove your colleague” (Lev. 19/17) – who is your colleague in Torah and mitzvahs, but not an evil person who will come to hate you, as it is said: al tokhiah letz ”do not reprove a mocker” Adderet Eliyahu to Lev 19/17 (and so adduces Be’ur Halakha in his name, siman 608 beginning with im m’forash ba- Torah , that a wicked person is not to be reproved” – and this is explained in Y’vamoth 65:. just as it is a mitzvah to say anything that will be listened to, so it is a mitzvah not to say anything that will not be accepted).

It is the way of the righteous , that the reproof serves them as a mirror, like that which a woman looks into, and which enlarges all her blemishes so as to enable her to cover them or remove them, though they are actually very light, so that in the end they are clean and pure- to Proverbs 9/8.

If you see how someone is angry with his fellowman and causes him sorrow, he who sees yet remains silent will be punished. – to Proverbs 22/25.


Translated for the spiritual elevation of Tzivia daughter of Dovid in the world to come. This translation was by more than one person and over a long period of time, therefore minor variations in translating styles appear here

Links to some of the other articles on this web site that portray the Gaon’s views:
* Monotheism Vs. The Outlook That Everything is G-d, by Mr. S. M. Scheinman which provides some background to the Gaon’s monotheistic beliefs.
* Divine Assistance 

Those that don’t tie their own Tzitzit – Beware!

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