Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

JANUARY 2015  • REMEMBRANCE

JANUARY 2015

REMEMBRANCE


A Mussar Gem

“An unceasing inner gaze toward one’s responsibility leads to remembrance, remembrance leads to concern, concern leads to confidence, confidence leads to strength and strength leads to serenity and wholeness, internally and externally, in thought and in deed.”   
–  Rabbi Avraham Elya Kaplan


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


Register Now
MUSSAR PRACTICE RETREAT 2015

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


With Heart in Mind

Available now! Order

 


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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 (as of Dec. 27):

  • Jean Angus         
  • Peter Ballin         
  • Judith Beltz        
  • Carol Congedo 
  • Peter Doerken and Candace Duke Doerken        
  • Susan Edelman                  
  • Terri Elston         
  • Charles Feinberg               
  • Dena and Stanley Forster, in memory of Rosina Katz
  • Marty Friedman                
  • Rochelle Goldstein   
  • Barbara Grosh and Howard Brill        
  • Eric Gurvis           
  • Barry Horowitz, in honor of Rabbi Howard Shapiro   
  • Michele and Richard Jackman, to Dean and Barbara Prober, in memory of your mother
  • Ester Kagan        
  • Nancy Kaplan Belsky, the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation         
  • Joanne Lancin, in memory of Celia Spurr
  • Boruch and Chana Lazewnik      
  • Diane Litke         
  • Greg Marcus      
  • Sybil McCullen, in honor of her brother Dewey McCullen
  • Ethel Melzer, in honor of a speedy recovery to George Gellman
  • Howard Menaker             
  • Susie Moskowitz, in honor of Rabbi Howard Shapiro
  • Dennis Passis   
  • Marilyn Paul      
  • Barbara Penzner               
  • Nina Perlmutter               
  • Rabbi Seth Phillips, in honor of the Congregation Keneseth Israel Adult Education Committee
  • Sue Pickens        
  • Michelle Princenthal, in honor of her husband, Robert
  • Pam Rollins        
  • Cheryl and Lee Sachnoff, in honor of the Kallah leaders and in gratitude for the 2014 Kallah
  • Gary Shaffer       
  • Brad Sham, in honor of Alan Morinis and Marsha Cohn
  • Leona Siadek Rice           
  • Bria and Evan Silbert, in honor of Alan Morinis’s birthday
  • Ruth Sohn            
  • Joyce Toney       
  • Pam Wax, in honor of Judith Edelstein
  • Sherry and Daniel Weinberger 
  • Nina Piken Yarus 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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Amsterdam in the SnowThrough a Mussar Lens: Spiritual Lessons from the Darkest of Days

In October, I was invited to speak at the first Mussar Kallah to take place in Europe, which was held in Amsterdam. It touched my heart to be addressing people in 2014 in the very place where in 1740 Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto published his Mesillat Yesharim [Path of the Just], which is a main pillar of Mussar thought and practice. It was humbling to be teaching Mussar in his shadow!

A darker shadow was present in Amsterdam as well.

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Ask QuestionsInquiring Hearts and Minds: Trust and Faith

Each month, Yashar will send a question to one or two Mussar teachers on an idea, practice, text, middah, or other Mussar-related challenge that someone is confronting. Email your question to info@mussarinstitute.org .

This month’s question:

“I am involved with Holocaust education in my synagogue. My big question is how can a Jew in the 21st century have Bitachon after the Holocaust? Talking with many survivors and 2nd generation survivors, that is a 6,000-pound elephant in the room.”

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Generosity Week Starts Feb. 8

Generosity Week, Feb. 8-13Mark your calendars now! The Mussar Institute’s fourth annual Generosity Week is scheduled for the week of February 8, 2015. Generosity Week was developed to share the gift of Mussar-centered learning, inspiration and guided practice to enhance giving with self-awareness. 

The program includes brief video teachings on generosity by noted speakers, commentary and practices to strengthen and build our generosity muscles, opportunities to acknowledge the generous acts of others, and enthusiastic conversation on the topic among participants on the TMI Facebook page. There’s a lot more to the middah [soul trait] of generosity than many realize, and we want to share these enriching teachings with as wide an audience as possible. We are inviting all of you as the TMI community to participate this year by sharing and liking the videos and posts and by joining in on our conversations.

Margo Martin
Generosity Week Committee Chair


bulletin boardTMI Bulletin Board

  • Alan Morinis’s Everyday Holiness is now available as an audiobook.
  • Registration is open for the Practice Retreat, to be held May 31 to June 3, 2015, in Baltimore. Rates are discounted until Feb. 1.
  • Save the dates for Kallah XIII, Nov. 12 to 15, 2015, in Zion, Ill. Kallah XII was our biggest and best yet, so be sure to make plans to be there this year.

bluebird on a snowy branchPractice Corner

Developing a good memory is an important part of the Mussar path: Rambam identifies memory as one of the “intellectual middot” that a person on the path toward wholeness needs to acquire. Rabbi Yisrael Lipschutz (1782–1860), author of Tiferet Yisrael, a commentary on Pirkei Avot, identifies the ways to develop a good memory:

“Go and see which is the straight path that a person should cleave to. Rabbi Eliezer said ‘a good eye’...” (Pirkei Avot 2:9).

Tiferet Yisrael says that to develop “a good eye,” a person should focus on developing the ability to:

  • be content with what he or she has
  • rejoice in the success of other people
  • not be envious
  • not worry
  • not get angry

Rabbi Lipschutz concludes: “All of these things weaken the power of memory. But when one has the trait of ‘a good eye,’ his memory will be like ‘a cemented pit which never loses a drop’ (i.e., a perfect memory).” Different people will find their memory impeded by each of these inner traits to varying degrees. Which of these five focuses is the most important one for you to work on to improve your memory?


Newsletter Home

Through a Mussar Lens: Spiritual Lessons from the Darkest of Days – by Alan Morinis

Inquiring Hearts and Minds: Trust and Faith


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

Copyright 2015 © The Mussar Institute


A Mussar Gem

“An unceasing inner gaze toward one’s responsibility leads to remembrance, remembrance leads to concern, concern leads to confidence, confidence leads to strength and strength leads to serenity and wholeness, internally and externally, in thought and in deed.”   
–  Rabbi Avraham Elya Kaplan


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


Register Now
MUSSAR PRACTICE RETREAT 2015

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


With Heart in Mind

Available now! Order

 


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 (as of Dec. 27):

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