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Same Heart and Mouth

We have spent this past month focusing on the middah of temimus and trying to understand what it means to be “tamim.” First, we explained that Temimus means acting with a “simple” mind – meaning, not allowing our minds to come up with excuses to permit doing wrong behaviors.

Next, we explained that Temimus also includes “simple” trust in Hashem – instead of worrying excessively about the future. Part of what allows us to stay calm and not worry about the future is the knowledge that everything Hashem does is for best. Not only are all events in our lives for the best, but also all of Hashem’s commandments are ultimately for the best for our neshama, so we should trust in His commandments and not doubt whether to do them or not.

Finally, we can understand one last aspect of temimus by taking a look at what Rashi says when the passuk calls Yakkov an “Ish Tam” – a simple man. Rashi1 explains that “Tam” here means that Yaakov was not a trickster – he wasn’t the type of person who would say one thing but mean something else. He was true and honest through and through.

Tocho K’Varo – Matching in and Out

This middah of being completely honest is called being “tocho kvaro”2 which literally means; “his insides match his outsides.” A person who is is “tocho k’varo” doesn’t try to create false impressions, or pretend he is a tzaddik when really he is not. Rather, k’libo kein piv3 – everything he says and does is an expression of his true values.

Everything he says and does is an expression of his true values.

Do you ever feel like we pay lip service to the importance of tefillah, while own tefillos are sorely lacking? Do you ever feel like we talk about how bad lashon hara is… but when we’re angry at someone, we just can’t hold back from telling someone else about it?

A person who is Tamim remains consistent between what he believes and what he does. In this sense, he is “complete” – all of his actions, thoughts, and words are unified. His public life reflects his private life.

As the Kad Hakemach4 explains – for a person who is Tamim, The ikerei emunah (fundamentals of faith) are so engraved in his heart that he cannot possibly do anything else other than what he believes to be true. He knows the importance of tefillah, so he davens without interruption. He knows the importance of Shabbos, so puts effort into being prepared on time and is careful not to desecrate Shabbos with his words or his actions.

As we go through life, lets keep this concept of temimus in mind and keep striving to be “complete” and unified between what we say we believe, and what we actually do.

Sources: [1] Bereishis 25:27; [2] Daas Torah Bereishis 17:1, also see Brachos 28a, Midrash Tanchima Vayakhel 7, and Kad HaKemach: Emunah; [3] Rashi, ibid.; [4] Kad HaKemach: Emunah

Your Challenge

Think of one area in your life where you believe something is important, but you often don’t act in accordance with what you believe. 

Make an effort to be “tamim” in that area – your words and actions should reflect your beliefs.


  • You know how important it is to come on time to davening, so make an effort to arrive on time.
  • You know how important tznius is, so stop yourself when you’re tempted to wear something that’s not so tznius.

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