savlanut ice cream.jpgSavlanut, or the ability to hold with emotional discomfort, is a key middah for all spiritual and emotional growth. While often translated as Patience, I think Forebearance is a better literal description of this middah. The Hebrew root ס.ב.ל./S.V.L means to bear or suffer. Rav Wolbe uses the image of carrying a load to describe Savlanut. Each relationship we have comes with a certain load we need to carry if we are to stay in the relationship. None of us are perfect and we all have “baggage.” We need Savlanut to deal with our own baggage and that of our children, partners, parents and friends. We practice savlanut when we bear that load without throwing it off. Savlanut calls on us to respond to annoyances and real insult in a way that maintains the relationship. To extend the metaphor of carrying, if the burden feels too heavy we may need to get help carrying it rather than just throwing it off. Dr. Alan Morinis uses the metaphor of a lit match and a fuse. We practice Savlanut by extending the distance between the match and the fuse.

Savlanut/Chesed Practice Standing in Line:

Focus Phrases and Kabbalot

  • Stay the course.
  • I can stand it.
  • I can do this.
  • I hear my foot tapping on the floor and in my head.
  • From Tomer Devorah, Chapter 1 (Paraphrase)

  • Despite being insulted, I will not withhold my goodness from you
וכן היותו נעלב ...ועם כל זה לא יאסוף טובתו מן המקבל

From Pirkei Avot, Chapter 6
  • Share the burden with one’s fellow
נשא בעל עם חברו

I've started to realize that waiting is an art, that waiting achieves things. Waiting can be very, very powerful. Time is a valuable thing. If you can wait two years, you can sometimes achieve something that you could not achieve today, however hard you worked, however much money you threw up in the air, however many times you banged your head against the wall. The Courage to Change, Dennis Wholey

Do not think; listen.
Take five deep breaths.
This is a line in the sand; it can be stepped over.


When something bad happens to you and you did not have the power to avoid it, do not aggravate the situation even more through wasted grief. (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lefin of Satanov, Cheshbon haNefesh).

For Chanukah: Balancing Savlanut and Zerizut (passionate action) -- Rabbi Debbie Stiel, Topeka KS:
D'var Torah on Savlanut and Anavah in Parshat Vaeishev by Michael Penzner of Fairmount Temple, Beachwood OH:

Blog entry on Kveller by a Bnai Keshet (Mintchair NJ) teacher on learning savlanut by destroying a toy:

"Patience is a (Sexual) Virtue," James McWhorter, NY Times


"Wintrer Apple," by David Whyte:

JTS D'var Acher - Parashat Vayishlach/Savlanut -

  1. D'var Torah on Savlanut and Anavah in Parshat Vaeishev by Michael Penzner of Fairmount Temple, Beachwood OH: JECC
  2. "Seek Patince," poem by Maya Angelous on balancing patience and alacrity:

Posters and Banners:

Congregation B'nai Keshet
Savlanut Banner.png
Savlanut Banner.png

Congregation Beth El
  1. Savlanut Hallway Poster: Dec main poster Savlanut.pdf
  2. Savlanut Conversation Poster: Dec conversation poster Savlanut.pdf



Savlanut and the Causes of Ka'as - Chicagoland Jewish High School Middot Minyan Lesson Plans

General Material:

  1. NYU Savlanut
  2. Congregation B'nai Jacob Powerpoint
  3. Congregation B'nai Keshet
    1. Savlanut
  4. Chochmat Halev
    1. Patience 2012
    2. PATIENCE.doc
    3. PATIENCE 2.doc
    4. SAVLANUT teaching for TMSG.docx
  5. JCC of San Francisco
    1. Savlanut TMP
  6. Congregation Beth Evergreen
    1. Youth journal on Savlanut
    2. intergenerational - patience and hesed
  7. Congregation Har Hasehm
    1. Agenda for Chug Session 2 Patience.docx
  8. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
    1. Savlanut is more than patience. We think of patience as suffering silently while someone is moving too slowly or acting in an annoying or infuriating way. We simmer until we “lose our patience” and erupt angrily, saying things we regret later.
      Savlanut literally means to bear the burden of another—or one’s own burden. It doesn’t require that we remain silent when someone is upsetting us, so that eventually our anger explodes. It does not mean that we shut down and repress our negative feelings. Rather, savlanut requires that we respond to annoyances and insults in a way that maintains our relationship with the person who initiates them. We remain connected and don’t cut things off.
      We all have our own troubles. Instead of judging another for upsetting behavior, try to give the benefit of the doubt. Is he distracted because of chronic pain? Has she just learned that a family member is seriously ill?
      And—if and when the burden becomes too much to bear—we ask others for help.
      Is there a burden that you are carrying at the moment? Are you bearing it silently, or are you practicingsavlanut?
      Pirkei Avot, chapter 6: “Share the burden with one’s fellow.”
  9. Temple Beth Sholom
    1. Bulletin article savlanut bulletin article.doc
    2. Parent-child PPT: Savlanut.pptx
  10. Temple Ohabei Shalom
    1. Blog Post on Savlanut
  11. Temple Sholom
    1. The Tikkun Middot Project for Kislev: Savlanut, Patience
    2. Religious School Handout on Savlanut: 02- Morinis on Savlanut (Patience).docx
  12. The New Shul
    1. Savlanut Lobby Project; Posterboard of Images for Savlanut - Bring Your Own Image, or Draw it, or Represent it in some other way.
    2. What Does Savlanut Look Like?What Does Savlanut Look Like.dwd
  13. Westchester Jewish Community Services
    1. Savlanut
  14. "What To Do When You're Running out of Patience," from Mindful Magazine