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Publicize and Proclaim Your Commitments

Jewish Spiritual Practices: 39:22 p. 663 - Individual Practices - by Yitzchal Buxbaum:

A good method, tried and tested, to correct the trait of anger and all other bad traits that can be seen by other people, such as those involving speech, is...always to publicize before everyone in your house and other people too [presumably, common sense will determine to whom], that you have committed yourself to act in these and those particular ways, and you are determined to be careful about them.

You should always make it a point when speaking with people to let them know this. You should also write it in big letteres in the beginning of your Siddur and other places where other people will see it too, thqat you have accepted on yourself to act in such and such a wasy from now on. Use other ways to publicize this to everyone.

By doing this you will be forced to fulfill these commitments so that people will not reproach you and mock you...and you will be forced to do it because of the shame. Eventually pure motives will replace these lower motives of shame, etc.

Do not worry about pride and self-advertisement, because you are doing this for the purpose of fixing your bad character traits.

It is also possible to use this method in an even more effective way, so that with G-d's help you can repair all your bad traits that can be seen by others. This better version requires the service of a good friend.

If you can, get yourself a good friend who is also trying to serve G-d, and be with him at all times. Let each of you tell the other all the practices and religious commitments, about things that can be seen by others, that he has accepted upon himself. Let there be an agreement between you that each will watch over the other, and protest any deviation from adherence to those things.

And if you cannot find such a spiritual friend, then enlist those who are fit and apporpriate for such a task from your own home or from the Beit Midrash (Torah Study Center) to watch over you and rebuke you if necessary.

Erech Apayim ch. 3:17 p 72 & 3:19 p 78

The continuation here says that it is even possible for a parent to have one of his children fill this position for him, as long as care is taken that the commandment to honor one's parents is not violated. If a person has many children or others who are worthy to help him in this way he should use them all.


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