Rav Yisrael Salanter’s 13 Midos- # 9

Orderliness: Carry out your responsibilities in all aspects in an orderly fashion

When I first read years ago, I was fairly organized. I use to keep tons of lists all organized by levels of importance and somehow over the years I’ve come to slack off a lot in this department. Family and work demands seem to have over-shadowed the importance of order, sadly. Perhaps blogging about this Midah will re-ignite my organizational skills (it would sure make my life easier in every aspect). At casual glance, it’s obvious why we had to learn about patience first. Calmly confront whatever circumstance presents itself. I know for myself, that I need a sense of clarity before I can have order.

An organized mind functions better than the opposite, so I’ve been told. In terms of mitzvah observance, ones’ daily seder is of the upmost importance. However, most things in life has a set order. For example: my cup of coffee. There’s a simple order to how it’s made. First I put the sugar in so that when the hot coffee is poured over it, the sugar dissolves right away, then I add, preferably, fat free half & half.

As I mentioned above, I know that over the years I’ve slacked off on the is Midah. I find that I get too frazzled quickly when I let my responsibilities stack up. This is a major lacking on my part. Rav Yisrael says I should carry out my responsibilities in all aspects in an orderly fashion. Order at the workplace is important. Even if one is disorganized, knowing what needs to be done first is key. Lack of order at home…yikes!
I’m always catching myself when I think about telling my son to clean up after himself. How many times am I guilty of what I expect him to do?

A line from Lecha Dodi come to mind: סוף מעשה במחשבה תחלה
sof ma’aseh bemachshavah techilah translated as “last in deed, but first in thought ” or the final outcome has been thought out at the beginning. This is a powerful concept that, in truth, might deserve its’ own posting in the future. If I know what my goal(s) should be then it’s easier to carry out any responsibility.

If you look at Pirkei Avos (5:7), it states that one of the seven characteristics of a wise person is that: He responds to first things first and to latter things later. This is a simple, yet practical application of the Midah.

True confession time. This post has taken me a few days to compose. Several parts were, in fact, written at different times. I thought that writing about Zerius was difficult, that was nothing. (Now what I’m about to say might be repeated in a future posting, I apologize in advance.) One of the purposes of blogging about the 13 Midos was to engage in a long over due Cheshbon HaNefesh. I hadn’t really done a serious one in about 5-6 years. I figured that using Rav Yisrael’s 13 Midos would be a rather good platform for tackling basic areas of improvement. While my writing has, B”H, been fluid with the other 8 midos, this one got me stuck. I guess the realization that I’ve lost my grip on the midah of seder hit me in the face. As this blog has helped me my own Avodas Hashem, having to write about this particular midah is a step for me in Tikun HaMidos. Thanks for tagging along.

6 thoughts on “Rav Yisrael Salanter’s 13 Midos- # 9

  1. SephardiLady

    What a timely posting. Just this morning I erased our dry erase board for the very purpose of recording a basic daily seder outline. I even decided to work on making dinner in the morning because I have had a few bad days where there was nothing to serve by evening except sandwitches. So, I decided a better seder was a must.

    Thanks for a great post.

  2. Rafi G

    ahhh.. the importance of seder!!
    I have a chavrusa who used to be very close with an older rav in yerushalayim originally from Lita. He passed away two years ago, and he was considered a real gadol (but he was not in the public eye – it was only by those who knew him, he was a rav of a “neighborhood” in Yerushalayim).
    The ultimate compliment and reference a person could get from this Rav was that you were a mesudar person. An organized person. That was the ultimate because if you were mesudar, everything else fell into place.

  3. Neil Harris

    Bari-At least you’ve got the summer off.
    SL-I admit, at times we have breakfast for dinner. I met a couple that actually has a monthly calendar for their dinners. I was impressed.
    SWFM-Now that I’m blogging about Midos, I’m a little more in tune to where I fall short.
    Rafi G-I guess Hanibal from the A-Team was mesudar. He loved it when a plan came together!!


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