Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

August 2014  • Teshuvah

August 2014

Teshuvah


A Mussar Gem

Removal of sin is like removal of a blinder from above an eye, such that the full field of vision is now revealed, a light from the breadth of heaven, earth and all they contain.
– Rav Kook, Orot haTeshuvah 5:2


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


REGISTER 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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FOLLOW US ON:

Forward to a friend

Join our mailing list


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:

  • Jeffrey Agron, in honor of the birth of Yaakov Yechezkel to Avi and Estie Fertig
  • Roann Altman, in honor of the birth of Yaakov Yechezkel to Avi and Estie Fertig
  • Jeffrey Balin
  • Judith Beltz
  • Rabbi Josh Bennett
  • Matthew Blumberg
  • Sandy Garrett, in honor of the birth of Yaakov Yechezkel to Avi and Estie Fertig
  • Harvey Glazer
  • Joanne Lancin
  • Guy Levine
  • Sharona and Howard Silverman

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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Alan MorinisThrough a Mussar Lens: Spiritual Ascendance through Teshuvah

My new book (out this month), opens by pointing out something that I believe to be entirely true, though it is not what people tend to see or experience in their encounters with the Jewish world, which is that:

The central concern of Judaism is that you and I accomplish a personal spiritual transformation in our lifetimes. That core intention can be lost in the welter of rituals, festivals, liturgy and other performative aspects of the tradition. It becomes even less visible when buried under the weight of buildings, institutions, campaigns and political struggles that are, for some, the face if not the totality of the Jewish world. But the fact remains that at its core, the driving concern of Judaism is personal spiritual transformation.

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Elise MikusMy Mussar Journey 

In preparation for the upcoming High Holidays, I have spent time looking back on my past year—the ups and downs and joys and sorrows; a series of daily changes. What I realized was that there was one common thread throughout the year that I could always count on—my Mussar study and my va’ad

This fall our group will have been together for three years. During that time we have had the opportunity to share in one another’s triumphs, successes, heartaches and pains. What is especially remarkable to me is that we have all learned to speak a special language—the language of Mussar. When this journey began for me I was searching for a connection to God: that path seemed unattainable.

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Sharona SilvermanAround the Mussar World: Phoenix, Arizona

The world of Mussar seemed to grow exponentially following Alan Morinis’s visit to Phoenix in December 2003.  The gathering was designed for those interested in learning more about this spiritual practice, and it attracted Jews from the Orthodox to the Reform to the Renewal movements. Shortly after this visit, a va’ad formed through my synagogue, Temple Chai, and we became “The Mussar Mamas.” As I think back to our initial meetings, I am in awe of the different paths of our members, as we brought our Mussar study into our lives.

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path in a fall forestKallah XII: Finding Joy in Everyday Transitions

Transitions are a fact of life. They happen to all of us, all the time—whether in our relationships, work, or personal life. What practical guidance does the Jewish tradition of Mussar provide to deal with transitions? More importantly, what guidance does it provide us for finding joy in these transitions?

This year’s kallah will focus on just such situations and opportunities. If you have been to a kallah in the past, you know about the community connections made along with the deep learning. While each kallah has a unique feel and flavor of its own, with a different theme and different teachers, the ultimate goals are the same: to strengthen our Mussar practice and be among a community of others who are interested in doing the same.

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AmsterdamPresenting our first Mussar Kallah in Europe

The Mussar Institute proudly announces European Kallah I: An Introduction to Mussar, a Jewish pathway to spiritual living and everyday holiness.

The Kallah will be held Sunday, October 26, 2014, in Amsterdam. Leaders will include Alan Morinis, Dean of The Mussar Institute, and Rabbi Avi Fertig, Associate Dean.

For details on the kallah and registration, see this announcement in English and Dutch.

Please join us in a warm, supportive community for deepening your Mussar journey.


Seeking Input for 2015 Webinar Series

webinarsWe are excited to announce that The Mussar Institute will offer its third annual webinar series in early 2015. These webinars are offered to the entire community at no cost. The theme of next year’s webinar series isMussar in the Workplace. Kicking off the series will be Rabbi David Lapin on January 18. Successive webinars will be given by students and teachers of Mussar who integrate Mussar in their work.

Some popular ideas for workplace subjects include mediation, health care (nurses, doctors), psychotherapy, and law. What other topics would you be interested in having explored in these webinars? We welcome your input in helping us to shape the webinar series. Please click on this link to share your ideas and we will be happy to follow up.

If you provide your name and email when completing the survey, your name will be entered in a drawing to receive an autographed copy of Alan Morinis’s upcoming book, With Heart in Mind, to be published in late August.


Practice Corner

note to selfThe key to teshuvah lies not in the inventory of wrong-doing we are so often encouraged to compose but in fostering the urge we all feel to make something better of ourselves.

Write on a card or post-it the following words from Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein (Mussar supervisor of the wartime Mir yeshiva) and place it where you will repeatedly see it: “A person’s primary mission in this world is to purify and elevate one’s soul.”

The constant reminder will lead you to internalize this truth, and the urge to purify and elevate yourself will burn more brightly.


Newsletter Home

Through a Mussar Lens: Spiritual Ascendance through Teshuvah – by Alan Morinis

My Mussar Journey – by

Around the Mussar World: Phoenix, Arizona – by Sharona Silverman

Finding Joy in Everyday Transitions – by Jeff Agron

Presenting our first Mussar Kallah in Europe

Seeking Input for 2015 Webinar Series – by Daliah Brill

Practice Corner


Help us keep our records updated.
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

Removal of sin is like removal of a blinder from above an eye, such that the full field of vision is now revealed, a light from the breadth of heaven, earth and all they contain.
– Rav Kook, Orot haTeshuvah 5:2


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


REGISTER 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