Mem

Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

   

March 2012

Joy


A MUSSAR GEM

The Slonimer Rebbe’s Mussar book, Netivot Shalom, contains a section entitled, “Serve HaShem With Joy." Among the five paths that he says lead to joy is the guidance to work at purifying character [taharat ha'middot]. His message is that flaws in our interior moral and spiritual world undermine our ability to experience joy and vitality in life. And conversely, ethical and spiritual uprightness serve to open the channels to joy. We learn this from the Psalm that says, "And to the straight of heart—joy!" [U'l'yishrei lev, simcha!]. Therefore one index to gauge the work you do on your personal spiritual curriculum is that it should yield joy in your life.


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KALLAH 2012

October 26-29, 2012
On beautiful Lake Michigan, 40 minutes from Chicago and Milwaukee.

The theme this year is “Yirah: awe, reverence and fear as spiritual practice.”


DONATIONS

The Mussar Institute depends on the generosity of supporters. Please consider making a donation to honor someone or to remember a loved one.

  • Roann Altman
  • Holzer Family Foundation
  • Ellen Berk Rosenblum in honor of Leona Siadek
  • Sam Finnerman in honor of Alan Morinis
  • Rita Gelman in honor of Roann Altman
  • Sandy Kaufman
  • Sybil McCullen in honor of Generosity Week
  • Barbara Mehl in honor of Marcia Weinstein
  • Jack and Maribel Nawrocik in memory of Michelle Kuri
  • James Rosen
  • Hirsch Serman in honor of Michael Burnham

Donations are
gratefully accepted.

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THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE

For further information on
The Mussar Institute, visit www.MussarInstitute.org
Email address: info@mussarinstitute.org
Phone: 778-300-6174


Alan MorinisTHROUGH A MUSSAR LENS

Purim, Joy and the Pursuit of Wholeness

Last week we ushered in the Hebrew month of Adar, and with it came the injunction to be joyful. The sages taught, “Mi’she nichnas Adar, marbin b'simcha—“When Adar arrives, we increase our joy” (Ta’anit 29b). Rashi explains that Adar is special and merits joy because it ushers in the season of miracles, the season of Purim and Pesach.
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WELCOME Jason Winston

Welcome to the all new Yashar. We've upgraded this newsletter of The Mussar Institute with new features, accessible tools and more gifts from our teachers and the Mussar tradition. We hope it serves you well.
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JourneysJOURNEYS

Rabbi Chaim Safren, head of the Calgary Community Kollel, recalls fondly his ten years of Mussar experiences at the Novardok yeshiva in France, where he spent two weeks every summer. He remembers his first trip, during which he received a profound teaching that affected him to his core.
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AROUND THE MUSSAR WORLD: DALLAS, TX

Around the Mussar WorldThe Mussar journey at Temple Emanu-El (a 2,600- family Reform congregation in Dallas, Texas) started when we invited Alan to be our scholar-in-residence for S’lichot weekend 2008. As the committee began to plan, we knew that for the weekend to have a lasting impact, we needed to find a way to start a local group or va’ad.
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headphonesMONTHLY SPECIALS

Each month we'll offer something special: a CD or mp3 at a reduced cost, or a free download. We want to thank you for being part of our community—for your energy, your commitment and, most of all, your support.

Alan recently gave a talk in Phoenix about experiencing life as a soul journey and how this perception changes our view of love. We hope you enjoy this free download. Love and experiencing life as a soul journey.


Practice CornerTHE PRACTICE CORNER

Another of the Slonimer Rebbe's practices to cultivate joy is to strengthen trust [bitachon]. Practicing trust means internalizing the conviction that God -- and not you -- controls and directs every event and activity in this world. This sensibility creates a deep security about life and so leads to joy. Among the practices that can bolster trust is to repeat the phrase daily, "My life is in the hands of the One who made me." Write the phrase on a post-it note and put it on your coffee-maker or the dashboard of your car or somewhere else you are sure to see it in the morning. Repeat it aloud to yourself. Call on it whenever worry or uncertainty makes itself felt within you. The more you can strengthen the recognition that "My life is in the hands of the One who made me," the more you will taste joy in your life.


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