Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

July 2014  • Truth

July 2014

Truth


A Mussar Gem

Even after the desires of one’s heart have persuaded him to accept the false way as true, he still knows in his heart of hearts that the true path is “truer” than the other one. Every human being thus has the faculty of determining in his own heart where the real truth lies.
– Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2014 MUSSAR KALLAH

Nov. 13 – 16 at the Illinois Beach Resort in Zion, IL. Registration now open.


SAVE THE DATE
MUSSAR PRACTICE RETREAT 2015

May 31 – June 3, 2015
Pearlstone Conference Center
Baltimore, MD


With Heart in Mind
Available August 2014
Preorder now


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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:

  • Elizabeth Adler
  • Judith Beltz
  • Ken Birenbaum
  • Ken Birenbaum, in honor of the birth of a son to Avi and Estie Fertig
  • Lawrence Board
  • Joshua Ellis, in honor of Alan Morinis
  • Sandra Garrett, in honor of the college graduation of Rachel Shaffer
  • Sandra Garrett
  • Stephen Haas
  • Caroline Isaacs, in honor of all my Mussar teachers and students
  • Carol Knoppow
  • Joanne Lancin
  • Roger Low and the Low Family Foundation
  • Bonnie Pastor, in honor of the Practice Retreat and all who made it possible
  • Irv Robinson, in memory of Sidney Rollins
  • Jeremy Schwartz
  • Juliana Senturia
  • Ellen Severson
  • Judy Shanks, in honor of Cantor Chanin Becker
  • Cynthia Shipper, wishing Rabbi William Gershon a speedy recovery
  • Suzanne Stier, in honor of the birth of a son to Avi and Estie Fertig
  • Suzanne Stier, in honor of Roz Zackin, for her special birthday

Become a member of The Mussar Institute. The Mussar Institute gratefully acknowledges and thanks its 2013–14 Sustaining Members.

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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Avi Fertig Through a Mussar Lens: Silence as Pathway to Truth

One of the many things that draws me to study and practice Mussar is an affinity I have for being alone and engaging in introspection. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed taking walks alone in nature and spending quality time with my inner self.

We know that falsehood [שקר ] in speech or action has a destructive effect on our relationships. But we perhaps do even greater harm to our spiritual lives by speaking and living falsely or with inconsistencies and without integrity. Why do we lie? Why do we live with inconsistencies? There is certainly no one answer.

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lavendarMy Mussar Journey

Unbeknownst to me, my Mussar journey began in October 2003 when I heard Alan Morinis speak at a Jewish healing conference in the Bay Area. I remember being impressed by his story and his approachability, but I did not consider pursuing the practice of Mussar because I was overwhelmed at that time.

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Around the Mussar World: South Florida

Living at the end of a very long peninsula can sometimes be isolating. You can drive most of the day and still be in Florida. When I was recently in the Northeast, I realized just how isolated we are in our little paradise. In three or four hours, you can be in Boston, or New York, or New Jersey, or Philadelphia, or Baltimore, or Washington, D.C. All of those communities boast a strong Mussar presence and many students of The Mussar Institute.

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path in a fall forestTruth About Transitions

The word “transition” makes me think of a major life transition — marriage, divorce, birth, death, job loss, or move of the kind that has a major impact on our lives, whether positive or negative.

But the truth is that transitions need not be major. They are happening all the time. Less monumental transitions occur each year, month, week, day, and moment. Every time we face a choice about what to do, it is a point of transition, what might be called a choice point. We can choose to move ahead on a project with joy and enthusiasm or we can hold back in fear or lose energy along the way. We can start with great intentions and find out that we didn’t pay sufficient attention to detail.

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Practice Corner

aimOne effective way to ensure that what you speak is truthful is suggested to us in a poem by the medieval Spanish Jewish poet Shmuel Ha’Nagid, who writes:

Delay your speech
if you want your words
to be straight and free of deceit— 

as a master archer 
is slow to take aim
when splitting a grain of wheat.

The practice, then, is to pause a beat before saying something, and in that instant to assess whether your words are “straight and free of deceit.”

 


Newsletter Home

Through a Mussar Lens: Silence as a Pathway to Truth – by Avi Fertig

My Mussar Journey – by Debra Cohn

Around the Mussar World: South Florida – by Jeff Agron

Truth About Transitions – by Roann Altman

Practice Corner


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Please notify us when you have a change of address, phone number and especially a new email.

Copyright 2014 © The Mussar Institute


A Mussar Gem

Even after the desires of one’s heart have persuaded him to accept the false way as true, he still knows in his heart of hearts that the true path is “truer” than the other one. Every human being thus has the faculty of determining in his own heart where the real truth lies.
– Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2014 MUSSAR KALLAH

Nov. 13 – 16 at the Illinois Beach Resort in Zion, IL. Registration now open.


SAVE THE DATE
MUSSAR PRACTICE RETREAT 2015

May 31 – June 3, 2015
Pearlstone Conference Center
Baltimore, MD


With Heart in Mind
Available August 2014
Preorder now


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. The Mussar Institute gratefully acknowledges and thanks its 2013–14 Sustaining Members.

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