How a Person Should Conduct Himself

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The Pasuk in Mishlei/Proverbs (3:6) says: "בכל דרכיך דעהו--Know Hashem in all your ways".

  1. Even things that a person does for their physical needs should be done ultimately for the sake of Hashem. This manifests itself in several areas. [1].
  2. A person is obligated to evaluate their ways, and to weigh all of their actions--if they sees something that will lead to the service of Hashem, they should do it; if it will not, one should refrain from doing it. [2].
  3. One who does this serves Hashem as one is meant to, as he eats, drinks, sits, stands, walks, and engages in business. [3].

Eating and Drinking

  1. It goes without saying that a person should not eat anything non-Kosher.
  2. Even if one is hungry and thirsty, it is not praiseworthy if one eats to satisfy that hunger and thirst.
  3. When eating, one should intend that it give one strength for the service of Hashem [4].
  4. One should not eat things because they are tasty, but rather because they help keep one's body healthy [5].

Sitting, Standing, and Walking in a Proper Way

  1. One should not sit amongst a gathering of scoffers, stand in the ways of sin, nor walk in the ways of the wicked.[6].
  2. Even to sit in a counsel of the upright, to stand in a place of Tzaddikim, and to walk in advice of the pure, one should not do for one's own benefit, to satisfy one's desire, but do it for the sake of Hashem [7].
  3. However, if it is impossible for one to do it solely for the sake of Hashem, one should not refrain from being upright; even when one at first practices so for the wrong reasons one will eventually come to do it for its proper reason (leshem Shamayim), by habituating oneself to doing the right thing.[8]

Lying Down

  1. It is improper to incite sleep upon oneself for pleasure's sake, when not too tired and still capable of serving Hashem, learning Torah and doing mitzvot.[9].
  2. However, even if one is tired, one who sleeps for his body's benefit is not praiseworthy, instead one should sleep for health, so that one can focus on Torah properly [10].

Speaking

  1. Even when one speaks דברי חכמים / wise words, one should intend for them to be for the purpose of bringing about Divine Service. [11].

Business Matters

  1. When one does business, one's intent should not be to amass wealth, but instead one's motivation should be to sustain one's family, to be able to give tzedaka, and raise sons that will study Torah. [12]

References

  1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:1
  2. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:7
  3. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:7. Also see Shulchan Aruch 31:7, Rambam Hil' De'os Chapter 3.
  4. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:2
  5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:2
  6. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:3
  7. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:3
  8. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:3
  9. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:4
  10. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:4
  11. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:6
  12. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 31:7