Becoming A Better Man, Woman, And Person – By Enoch And Raven Wing

  
By:  Enoch  •  2 months ago  •  19 comments

Becoming A Better Man, Woman, And Person – By Enoch And Raven Wing
"What does the L-rd require of you, but to do justice, love mercy; and walk humbly with your G-d"? (Micah 6:8)

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Chaplain's Corner

Enoch

Part of pastoral care is counseling.

The more alert among us know that we will never be perfect. They also are aware that we can always be better than we are. We are being what we actually are. Simultaneously we are becoming what we potentially can be.

In my traditional let me share some ideas for being a better man, woman; and person. For those who seek pathways to improvement these ideas may help. If not, at least they can be a springboard for thought. How a person improves is far less important than they find and implement ways for them to achieve their fullest potential.

Becoming A Better Man: 

In the story of Cain and Able the question is posed. “Am I my brother’s keeper”? It is said that all else in our tradition is an attempt to answer that question in the affirmative. We are here to be the keepers of our brothers, sisters; all in the human family. Proof we are improving as men will be reflected by how much better we get at being their keeper.

In the Art Scroll Siddur shel Shabbat (Sabbath Prayer Book) Minchah (afternoon to evening prayer Service) there are quotations from Pirke Avoth Sheynee (Sayings of the Fathers II) that shed light on how to become a better man. Here are some of them.

Our Teacher said, “Which is the proper path that a man should choose for himself? Whatever is a credit to him, and earns him the esteem of his fellow men”.

Rabbi Hillel said, “Do not separate yourself from the community; do not believe in yourself until the day you die; do not judge your fellow until you have reached his place; do not make a statement that cannot easily be understood ---“.

He said, --- “Go out and discern which is the proper way to which a man should cling?”

“Rabbi Elazar says: “A good heart”.

In his seminal two volume work, Chovoth Ha Levvavoth (Duties of the Heart) Rabbi Bachya Ibn Pekudah points out that those who approach all in life with “Cavannah Tovah" {Coved Rosh -  Good or Pure Intention} will be covered in righteousness 24/7 365.25.

As said the Prophet Micah (6:8), “What does the L-rd require of you, but to do justice, love mercy; and walk humbly with your G-d”?

As Rabbi Hillel said, “Whatever is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. Go learn”. (Talmud Bavli Shabbat 31a).

In a word, to be a better man, avoid sin to abstain from hurting. Choose service to help others.                          

Becoming a Better Woman:

It is a custom when the husband, father grandfather returns home from Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat (receiving the Sabbath) services to bless his wife, children and grandchildren. The blessing most often recited to his wife can be found in the Proverb (Mishlei) 31 {Eshet Chayil- A Woman of Valor}. As this is how he praises her, it follows that the virtues enumerated in this text are ones which, if followed would make the women a better woman and a better person. I have recited this to Mrs. E. every Friday night since we wed.

“A woman of valor, who can find? She is more precious than fine pearls. Her husband trusts in her, and so he lacks nothing;

She does him good, never harm, all the days of her life.

She perceives that her labor is rewarding, her candle burns on into the night.

She reaches out to those in need, and extends her hands to the poor.

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she faces the future cheerfully.

She speaks with wisdom; the law of kindness is on her lips.

Her children rise up and bless her; her husband sings her praises.

Many daughters have done valiantly, but you exceed them all”.       

In a word, to be a better woman, avoid sin to abstain from hurting. Choose service to help others.        

Becoming A Better Person:

Notice that in the cases where quotes are designed from men or for women it is possible for women and men to follow the same paths toward self- improvement. They may need to be custom tailored a bit to the unique needs and ways of each gender. We are all still human beings, one way or the other.

In this section we shall review passages from primary Scripture and its relevant commentaries to uncover ways for both genders to become better persons.

In religious, as in spiritual and humanitarian thought it is helpful to find a role model to emulate when seeking human growth and development.

In the Jewish tradition, there is no higher role model than the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah. That is the G-d of Israel. 

In our heritage, we imitate the positive Divine attributes. We do not do so with those considered in human’s negative ones. The thinking here, is for example we do not let anger, even righteous anger rule our actions. Because it is our situation as humans that we need to be the master of our emotions, and not let them take control over us. Our situation is not divine.

Here are the quotations which show us how to become better persons of both genders.

When should we imitate G-d?

“What is meant by “you shall walk after the L-rd your G-d”? (Deuteronomy 13:4).  --- “As He clothes the naked, so you cloth the naked” (Genesis 3:21). “As He visited the sick, so you visit the sick” (Genesis 18:1). As He comforted mourners, so you comfort mourners”. (Genesis 25:2). As He buries the dead, so you bury the dead” (Deuteronomy 34:6). {Sota 14a}.

“To walk in all His ways” (Deuteronomy 11:22). “As the All Present is called compassionate and gracious, so you be compassionate and gracious” (Exodus 34:6). “As the Holy One, blessed be He, is called righteous you also be righteous”. (Psalms 145:17). “As He is called loving, you also be loving”. (Psalms 145:17).  {Sifre Deuteronomy 49:85a}.

When should we not imitate G-d?

“I the L-rd am a jealous G-d”. (Exodus 20:5). “I am the master of my jealousy, and jealousy is not the master of Me”. (Mechilta 68a).

In a word, to become a better person, avoid sin to abstain from hurting. Choose service to help others.

 

Raven Wing

The Cherokee and the Iroquois to their north are related, their languages are similar, and so are most of their customs and traditions. There are many important teachings that are meant to help ensure harmony among the members of the Tribe, as well as between husband and wife and family.

Being A Good Man

The Good Man in the Cherokee neither expresses anger, nor gives others occasion for expressing anger. The basic principle of conservative values is harmony. The principles explain for Cherokees much of the phenomena of nature, defines man's place in nature, and it establishes norms of proper conduct among men. This principle of harmony appears to direct those Cherokees today, cautiously, and at virtually any cost, to avoid discord. The emphasis in its applications is, thou shalt not create disharmony. The conflict disallowed in Cherokee human relations is conflict between two men or several, face-to-face, open and direct. 

A Good Man is a man who avoids conflict with his fellows. He asserts his own rights cautiously; he avoided situations which might entail conflict; and he withdrew from men who were contentious or disrespectful. Harmony was essential. The harmony ethic is maintained by the recommendation that a good Cherokee be a "quiet" man "avoiding disharmonious situations".  

The essential measure of a Good Man was the ability to maintain cautious, quiet relations, avoiding clashes of interest. Men were expected to honor others who, by that measure, were good, and were expected to hope that they might approximate that goal, as an ultimate achievement in their later years, such as being an Elder of the Tribe or a Priest. 

It should be remembered that a Cherokee male was not considered a "man" (a fully grown and responsible man) until he is about 25 years of age. Ample time is allowed for him to learn, and experience, and grow -- and hopefully to settle down to be a responsible member of society.

Being A Good Woman

Women control many of the fundamental institutions of society among the various Iroquois and Tribes similarly organized, such as the Cherokee. Descent of blood or citizenship in the clan, and hence in the Tribe, is traced through the Mother. Women in the Cherokee society are equal to men. They can sit in Councils as equals. Although, it is not that common for women to do so, by their own choice.

Clan kinship followed the Mother's side of the family. The children grew up in the Mother's house, and it was the duty of an Uncle on the Mother's side to teach the boys how to hunt, fish, and perform certain Tribal duties.

While the men may build the houses, the women own the houses and their furnishings, as well as any land in the marriage. Marriages were carefully negotiated, but, if a woman decided to divorce her spouse, she simply placed his belongings outside the house.

Cherokee women worked hard. They cared for the children, cooked, tended the house, tanned skins, wove baskets, and cultivated fields. Men helped with some household chores, but, spent most of their time hunting or off protecting the Tribe.

In addition, a Good Woman is also to be respectful of all other members of the Tribe. She is to set a good example for her daughters and teach them how to be good wives and carry out their duties as a productive member of the Tribe.

The Good Woman should also conduct herself in a way that ensures harmony among the other women in the Tribe, and assist them how and whenever needed. The women of the Tribe are the foundation of the Tribe, and harmony must be maintained to ensure the ability of working together in an efficient and productive manner for the benefit of the entire Tribe.

It is the job of the younger women and girls to care for all the young children while the older women perform the necessary chores to keep the homes and Tribe in good order and functioning to the benefit of all. The saying that the “children belong to the Tribe” is an example of this practice.

Because of the above mentioned facts, among the Iroquoian Tribes; the Cherokee, Susquehanna, Hurons, and the Iroquois, the punishment for killing a woman of the Tribe was double that exacted for killing a man.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Enoch and Raven Wing both have shared the wisdom of their heritage, culture and traditions on how to be a better man, woman and person than we presently are.  

Please advise us of how your heritage and original ideas give us the opportunity and tools to actualize our best potential.

Please follow the site CoC, TOS; and the Four B’s.

Be Positive.

Be Respectful.

Be On-Point.

Or Be Gone!    

We look forward to learning from you, and improving from your input.

  

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Raven Wing
1  Raven Wing    2 months ago

We hope that sharing our customs and teachings of how to become better Men and Women, and a better person in general will help others to think of ways to share their own customs, traditions and teachings so that we can learn more to improve ourselves.

 
 
 
Enoch
2  author  Enoch    2 months ago

As our good friend and my most capable and equal partner running Chaplains Corner Raven Wing correctly stated, please do share what your heritage, tradition; and/or original ideas are on how to become a better man, woman and person.

All we ask is that you follow the site CoC, TOS: and the Four B's.

Be Respectful.

Be Positive.

Be On-Point.

or Be Gone!

Please help us to be better men, women and persons with your contributions here.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.

Enoch.

 
 
 
charger 383
3  charger 383    2 months ago

2 people that we can learn from whatever we believe 

 
 
 
Enoch
3.1  author  Enoch  replied to  charger 383 @3    2 months ago

Dear Friend Charger: Many thanks for your kind and supportive contribution.

P&AB

Enoch.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
4  Larry Hampton    2 months ago

 Amazing that so many cultures and teachings revolve around coexistence as the central theme. Much appreciated here are Particular descriptions of behaviors that lead to this. Thanks folks; wonderful article. 

 
 
 
Raven Wing
4.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Larry Hampton @4    2 months ago

You are very welcome, Larry. Glad that you like the article. Harmony among people of the world has always been key to peaceful coexistence, and never more important than it is in the world of today. Achieving harmony is a part of learning how to be the kind of person that will help promote harmony with others, no matter who they may be. 

The teachings of our two cultures may vary in how to achieve peaceful relationships with others, but, they are aimed at arriving at the same results. 

 
 
 
Enoch
4.2  author  Enoch  replied to  Larry Hampton @4    2 months ago

Dear Friend Larry Hampton: In addition to concurring with the wisdom of Raven Wing I would only add this.

Peace co-existence is also a great survival tactic.

An altenrnative to bumping heads is finding ways to get along not in spite of rather because of the common ground we all have, each in our own unique ways, beliefs, values, etc.

Here is to peace and harmony.

P&AB Always.

With gratitude for your excellent contribution.

Enoch (Good Man, Retired).

 
 
 
luther28
5  luther28    2 months ago

This brought to mind a line I once heard:

What man (or women) is a man that does not try to make the world a better place.

Sort of sums it all up for me ( but I do like to keep things simple).

Excellent article, nice collaboration by the authors, we should all take their example it would be a good start.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
5.1  Raven Wing  replied to  luther28 @5    2 months ago
What man (or women) is a man that does not try to make the world a better place.

Excellent reminder, luther28. And making the world a better place starts with each of us, no matter what our heritage or beliefs are. 

Thank you for your very kind compliments, and we are glad that you enjoy the article. (smile)

 
 
 
Enoch
5.2  author  Enoch  replied to  luther28 @5    2 months ago

Dear Friend Luther28: Adding to what our good friend Sister Raven Wing said, the world gets better one good deed at a time.

Great point Luther.

We are indebted.

Please keep the warmth, humanity and sagacity coming.

We need not a moral recession.

P&AB.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Kavika
6  Kavika     2 months ago

''Walk the Red Road'' 

Excellent article. 

 
 
 
Raven Wing
6.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @6    2 months ago

Thank you Kavika. And indeed, walking the "Red Road" is a very worthy endeavor. 

 
 
 
Enoch
7  author  Enoch    2 months ago

Dear Brother Kavika: As the three of us and others walk the Red Road, be sure to hang a Louie at Jay's Diner. 

Always over tip the server.

Never complain about the black water medicine (coffee).

Some day in the far distant future, we may be old, weak and bitter ourselves.

P&AB to You and Yours Always.

Enoch.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
8  dave-2693993    2 months ago

Enoch, Raven Wing,

Sometimes, what might appear as simple or easy to some, might be a difficult challenge to others.

Until he girls come home the attitudes drift.

These articles help.

Thank you.

 
 
 
Enoch
8.1  author  Enoch  replied to  dave-2693993 @8    one month ago

Dear Brother Dave: On behalf of Raven wing and myself, thanks. 

We try to provide answers to universal concerns here. 

We also encourage others to add to what we post, by informing us of the wisdom of their heritages, traditions and original thoughts.

Its all good.

What ever works for anyone in bringing out their better side is right for them.

Together, no stopping us.

Onward and upwards.

P&AB Always.

Enoch.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
8.1.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Enoch @8.1    one month ago

Thank you Enoch.

P&AB

 
 
 
Raven Wing
8.2  Raven Wing  replied to  dave-2693993 @8    one month ago

You are most welcome, Dave. As Dear Brother Enoch has pointed out, we do our best to help others as best we can. What may seem simple to us and our heritage may not seem simple to others, so we try to show that, such things are not limited to any one heritage, they are simply achieved in a different way based on the cultures and heritage of others. 

The important thing is, that the desired results are achieved. (smile)

 
 
 
Enoch
8.2.1  author  Enoch  replied to  Raven Wing @8.2    one month ago

Dear Sister Raven Wing: Well said indeed.

E.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
8.2.2  dave-2693993  replied to  Raven Wing @8.2    one month ago

And thank you as well Raven Wing.

 
 
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