January 27, 2011 4:48 am at 4:48 am #594541
they say middos are hereditary. is this true??January 27, 2011 5:00 am at 5:00 am #733208
“they” ?January 27, 2011 5:01 am at 5:01 am #733209
You LEARN it from your parents.And it helps to have a hereditary predisposition to positive personality traits.(Boy,that was wordy!)It also helps to be named after someone with good midos.Nature and nurture.January 27, 2011 5:04 am at 5:04 am #733210
Yes. i see it in my own family and so many others. for example- my father is a really generous man and i see it in my siblings- they all are just generous. Its the strangest thing. It goes for alot of things. EVERYTHING is hereditary. i think it is the coolest. To know that every character trait i have was had before me for years. They say that cohanim all have hot feet because they used to walk around barefoot in the B”HMK… don’t know if it is true but sorta brings out my point! well, thats not really a middah but OK.January 27, 2011 5:12 am at 5:12 am #733211
Middos are hereditary everyone has a Tzelem Elokim in their genetic makeup. However,we just sometimes forget to use are G-d given abilities.January 27, 2011 5:15 am at 5:15 am #733212
It must be a mixture of both or can be either or. I am very much a product of both my parents. My sister is totally different than me and my brother is also. I also am very much like my aunt and I am told I am very much like my grandmother. Did I pick up on things my mom and aunts told me about her when I was growing up? That could be, and maybe I learned things from my mother and my aunt.January 27, 2011 5:17 am at 5:17 am #733213
I have heard of this concept, although I cannot tell you its source. I also heard that at the time of a person’s passing, his traits are, so to speak (no belittling of this concept intended), “up for grabs”. I’m not quite sure what this means, but I presume that in such cases a person can acquire certain positive qualities that the Niftar had. Although, perhaps thinking one has acquired a quality will cause him to act as though he does indeed have that trait.January 27, 2011 5:20 am at 5:20 am #733214
Oh yeah, Middos are hereditary, you bet. I better start working on mine if I want my kids to have good Middos…January 27, 2011 5:22 am at 5:22 am #733215
theObvious, your siblings are not generous because the trait is “hereditary.” Rather they are generous because it is learned behavior from their father, who presumably learned to be generous from his father, teachers, etc.
So to answer the OP’s question “they” whomever they may be are wrong. Middos are not hereditary. They are a result of learned behavior. It is not enough that one’s father be generous, rather the child must see their father’s generosity in action and that will result in the child exhibiting generous behaviors.January 27, 2011 5:28 am at 5:28 am #733216
I do believe to large extent it is hereditary but also a learned function, as well. The fact that five children can be brought up in the same loving home and one of them does not have good middos, can only be explained as that child having inherited certain bad characteristics from other members of the family. But there is a great inyan of Nature Vs. Nurture, and even a child who might have a bad disposition can be taught to do chessed. Interesting question.
I do see that my husband is almost exactly like his father O”H, middos-wise, and that is most fortunate as my dear FIL was a tzaddik bein adam l’chaveiro. Unlike his father however, my husband chose to be frum. People tell me that my personality and actions are just like my mother’s O”H. I wish! She was a great lady.January 27, 2011 5:35 am at 5:35 am #733217
I would sure hope so.January 27, 2011 6:13 am at 6:13 am #733218
I think that certain things that effect middot are hereditary, like various hormones. For example, an active person with a lot of adrenaline may pass that trait to a child.
This is the old nature vs. nurture debate.January 27, 2011 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #733219
so if a persons parents has bad middos will they inheret??January 27, 2011 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #733220
They must be the same ones as “the gedolim” and “seforim hakedoshim”.January 27, 2011 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #733221
i had washed into my head that if u work on losing the bad middos u wer born with up in shomayim they cross it off the list of traits ur kids r born with.. imagine if u can do the same with a nosejob!January 28, 2011 1:44 am at 1:44 am #733223
oomis, I disagree with your statement “the fact that five children can be brought up in the same loving home and one of them does not have good middos, can only be explained as that child having inherited certain bad characteristics from other members of the family.”
Like I said before, middos result from learned behavior. That behavior can be from parents, teachers, friends, and any other sources that one is exposed to. In fact, most likely everybody are exposed to a combination of these sources. Therefore 5 children can be brought up in the same loving home where 4 manifest good middos and 1 does not is explained by:
a) the 1 child being exposed to someone who did not demonstrate middos
b) every person has free will and despite seeing middos may choose their own pathJanuary 28, 2011 8:03 am at 8:03 am #733224
IMO~ mildly inherent, midos are learned behavior: they have to be taught to be learned.
Albert Einstein said ‘what are the 3 best ways to bring up a child?’ answer: 1) by example 2) by example 3) by example.January 28, 2011 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #733225
So, if you believe midos are at least partially hereditary, this would mean that it would make sense to consider yichus.January 28, 2011 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #733226
I don’t know how to describe ‘the nature’ of a child. when they’re young enough not to have learned behavior from those around them (parents/sibs)… but you still get a sense of their ‘personality’.January 28, 2011 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #733227
tchunos are inborn and cannot be changed. i dont know how to define tchunos exactly but they are personality types. whether a person is “firey” or placid for example.
middos are different. one is born with a propensity towards certain middos. generosity vs stinginess for example. but these are also influenced by the environment and can be changed with much work.
this is from the Rambam.
you can see tchunos in a child from the moment they are born.January 28, 2011 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #733228
I’d like to share a nice example of “built-in” good midos.
I have a relative who is manic-depressive.Not diagnosed by neighbors:the real kind.
Ok,so during the manic phases he spent money like crazy,right?
So one day,he came home with a huuuuuge bag of nails,plain nails.
When he was asked “what are you going to do with 5 million nails?”,he answered:
“I walked into the new hardware store that just opened, to have a look around.I noticed the man’s face brighten as he hoped I would be a good customer,and buy something.I just didn’t have the heart to walk out empty-handed,so I bought all these nails.He was soooo happy!”
See what I mean?January 28, 2011 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #733229
eclipse im not sure what your point isJanuary 30, 2011 3:02 am at 3:02 am #733230
even though not 100% normal,had compassion for others
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