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Eleven Cardinal Principles

Hirsch observes that this Psalm begins with the phrase "Hashem mi yagur b'ahalecha" "G-d, Who will reside in your tent?" and then discusses man's obligations toward his fellow. This indicates that to come close to G-d, one first makes himself acceptable to his brethren.

1. Holech b'tamim - walks with innocence. He will not scheme in order to ensure his success.

2. Po'el tzedek - Does what is right. Works honestly, as a worker hired for wages who refuses to interrupt his labor.

3. Dover emes bil'vavo - speaks truth in his heart. The true sincere thoughts of his heart are all he speaks... the Kotzker Rebbe said this indicates he makes truth "dover", or "ruler", of his heart.

4. Lo ragal al l'shono - no slander on his tongue. Doesn't talebear. Juxtaposed with the previous trait, he is zealous for truth, yet he takes pains not to harm others with his speech.

5. Lo asa l'rayayhu ra - has done his friend no evil. He never competes unfairly with his business rivals and never illegally encroaches on their rights.

6. Cherpa lo nasa al k'rovo - Hasn't taken up disgrace upon his socially intimate friends. Generally people are freer to insult or hurt those who are intimate with them, whereas with less intimate friends they fear breaking social niceties.

7. Niv'zeh b'ainav nimas - Shows the despicable to be repulsive. Two interpretations - one, he sees the despicable in himself to be repulsive even though he is a righteous person. Alternately, he will not falsely flatter wicked people, even if they are close relatives.

8. Es yirei Hashem yichabed - He honors those who fear G-d. - despite the previous trait of finding bad things inside himself repulsive , he does not bring down others.

9. Nishba l'hara - He swore to his own hurt - he fasts and gives large donations, depriving himself.

10. Caspo lo nasan b'neshech - He doesn't charge interest on loans - from anyone.

11.Shochad al naki lo lakach - He doesn't take a bribe against the innocent - even to free a person he would have freed anyway.


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