Polish-Lithuanian rabbi; Mitnagdim leader in opposition to Hasidism
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- The principal safeguard is seclusion, that you should not, God forbid, leave the house, save for some exceedingly great need. ... And even in the synagogue you should be very short and leave quickly. It is better to pray at home, for in the synagogue it is impossible to be saved from envy, and from hearing vain talk and gossip, and one is punished for this.
- Alim li-Terufa as cited in "Separation from the Worldly (Perishut)"
(Note - It is important to remember that the Gaon wrote this to his wife who, as a woman, did not have an obligation to pray in the synagogue).
- A man of valor is one who is mighty of heart with perfect trust to perform mitzvot at all times and to meditate upon the Torah day and night, even though there is no food or clothing in his house, and his children and the members of his household cry out to him: Provide us with our support and maintenance. And he does not heed them at all, or listen to their cries.