Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

January 2014  • Zehirut

January 2014

Zehirut


A MUSSAR GEM

The power of the Satan lies in rushing a person to carry out an action right away, before he stops to consider and wonder about what he is doing. The deed is done and there he stands, deliberating after the fact.
– Rabbi Yosef Yozel Hurwitz, the Alter of Novardok


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Generosity Week is Feb. 23-28, 2014.  Save the date.


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Donations

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

Thanks to these generous donors and members:

  • Jeff Agron, in memory of Nathan Spring
  • Anonymous
  • Jerry Bernard
  • Kenneth Birenbaum
  • Barry Block and Toni Dollinger Block, in memory of Nathan Spring
  • Marsha Cohn
  • Ellen Cronin
  • Goldman, Sachs Gives
  • Judith Edelstein
  • Sam and Adriaan Finnerman
  • Dena and Stanley Forster
  • Martin Friedman
  • Sandra Garrett
  • Lisa and Jack Gildar
  • Deena Goldsmith, in honor of the Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation Mussar Group
  • David Gottlieb
  • Barry Horowitz, in honor of Rabbi Howard Shapiro
  • Michele and Richard Jackman, in honor of Alan Morinis
  • David Jaffe, in memory of Herman Jaffe
  • Felice and Gerald Joyce
  • Cynthia Levy, in memory of Nathan Spring
  • Shoshana Litman
  • Robert Mandell
  • Audrey Miklius, in honor of Pam Rollins
  • Kalinka Moudrova-Rothman
  • Wesley Penner
  • Nina Perlmutter
  • Evelyn Prince
  • Marshall Rauch
  • Irv Robinson, in memory of Nathan Spring
  • Pam Rollins, in honor of Jeff Agron
  • Sharon Schwartz
  • Sharona Silverman
  • Nina and Gary Yarus

Become a member of The Mussar Institute.

Donations are gratefully accepted.

pushke


THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE

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

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Through a Mussar Lens: The Differences Between Zehirut and Mindfulness

Walking the spiritual path requires a mind that sparkles with awareness. Without that bright quality of mind, the road ahead is like a dark and winding track on a moonless night. And the farther along the path we get, the higher up the mountain, the steeper the drop and the more challenging the bends we need to navigate. Without a clear and illuminated mind, danger lurks.

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Awareness Leads to Improved Prayer

I recently visited the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. I, like many, was entranced by the Gems and Minerals exhibit, particularly the Hope Diamond. It is truly remarkable to explore how light plays through that unique diamond.

One can only imagine how thorough and extreme the security is around the Hope Diamond. I know it is surrounded by three inches of bullet-proof glass. I am sure that is just the tip of the iceberg. Who would be foolish enough to own such a precious item and not protect it?

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Mussar Practice Retreat Takes Shape

Alan Morinis approached me with great excitement last fall. He had been contemplating a new type of Mussar retreat, inspired by the Mussar Houses that Rabbi Israel Salanter founded in 19th century Lithuania and by the retreats of the Novarodok yeshivot, where students of Mussar withdrew to rural settings in order to dig deeply into their souls, while in a safe environment supported by others. The purpose was to identify and work on the middot that were high on their spiritual curriculum.

A committee of dedicated Mussar facilitators has developed a retreat based on the concept of intense middah work, with an added emphasis on deepening the practice of the various transformative Mussar techniques, with which many students struggle. The committee is excited to invite you to a three-day retreat on the beautiful Brandeis-Bardin Campus, in Simi Valley, CA (just north of LA), May 4-7, 2014, designed to encourage and challenge both sophisticated and recent Mussar practitioners.

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Jewish Values for Early Childhood

This year we continue our temple-wide learning initiative focused on Mussar, or as we have labeled it, “Jewish values for everyday living.” Our focus is on one Jewish value (middah) each month, with banners proudly displayed throughout our Temple Adat Elohim campus in Thousand Oaks, California.

Adult Mussar programs are being offered for all levels, special readings are being published in our temple newsletter and on our website, and our auxiliaries, committees and boards are even engaging in this study and practice. However, what is most unique and exciting about our program is that our teachers are integrating these values (middot) into the Religious School curricula and into our Early Childhood Center.

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comfy chairPractice Corner

In Chapter 2 of Path of the Just, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto isolates one factor as being a major obstacle to the trait of illuminated awareness that is zehirut. That factor is “Relentlessly burdening yourself with tasks so that you haven’t the time to reflect upon or consider where you are heading ….”

Picking up on that idea, a good practice for cultivating zehirut is to identify one way in which you can be less busy in your life, perhaps by dropping an activity or in some other way. Then commit to reducing busyness in this way.


Newsletter Home

Through a Mussar Lens: The Differences Between Zehirut and Mindfulness – by Alan Morinis

Awareness Leads to Improved Prayer – by Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder

Practice Retreat – by Rabbi Judith Edelstein

Jewish Values for Early Childhood – by Michelle Princenthal

Practice Corner


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Copyright 2014 © The Mussar Institute


A MUSSAR GEM

The power of the Satan lies in rushing a person to carry out an action right away, before he stops to consider and wonder about what he is doing. The deed is done and there he stands, deliberating after the fact.
– Rabbi Yosef Yozel Hurwitz, the Alter of Novardok


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


Generosity Week is Feb. 23-28, 2014.  Save the date.


wwwfollow us on facebook

FOLLOW US ON:

Forward to a friend

Join our mailing list


Study Mussar

Course registration for fall is open

Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


Donations

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

Thanks to these generous donors and members:

Become a member of The Mussar Institute.

Donations are gratefully accepted.

pushke


THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE

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