Yashar
YIRAH
DECEMBER  2015

A Mussar Gem

Yirah is not anguish, not pain, not bitter anxiety. To what may yirah be likened? To the tremor of fear which a father feels when his beloved young son rides his shoulders as he dances with him and rejoices before him, taking care that he not fall off. Here there is joy that is incomparable, pleasure that is incomparable. And the fear tied up with them is pleasant too. It does not impede the freedom of dance … man dancing with child on his shouldersIt passes through them like a spinal column that straightens and strengthens. And it envelops them like a modest frame that lends grace and pleasantness … If a person is sure that the “bundle” of his life’s meaning is safely held high by the shoulders of his awareness, he knows that this bundle will not fall backwards, he will not forget it for a moment, he will remember it constantly, with yirah he will safe keep it. If every moment he checks it—then his heart is confident, and he dances and rejoices …
In the Footsteps of Yirah, Rabbi Avraham Elya Kaplan


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

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  • Jesse Abraham
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THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE

For further information on The Mussar Institute, visit www.MussarInstitute.org
Email address: info@mussarinstitute.org
Phone: 305-610-7260

Alan MorinisThrough a Mussar Lens: Understanding and Experiencing Yirah

Jerusalem is once again in the news, as it has been for the last 3,000 years. It is an utter mystery why one small little piece of earth located in no particularly dominating location should dominate the headlines generation after generation. Perhaps we get a clue from the name of the city itself — Jerusalem, or Yerushalayim in Hebrew, is derived from the words yirah and shalom. We are all familiar with the word shalom—peace. But what of the first part of the name, arising from yirah?

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It was Magic …

By Roann Altman

From start to finish. From the moment we entered the lobby of the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center to the time we said our good-byes at noon on Sunday. The hugs, the smiles, the warmth of friendship. Everyone focused on bringing balance to our lives with sessions by our Kallah faculty—Micha Berger, Avi Fertig, Alan Morinis, Chaim Safren, Pam Wax, Efrat Zarren-Zohar and others—on holiness, awareness, silence, and equanimity.

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Rabbi Darryl Crystal, Rabbi Jill Maderer and Rabbi Eric GurvisSHARING MUSSAR WISDOM: Rabbis Darryl Crystal, Jill Maderer and Eric Gurvis (pictured, from left) presented a session on “Seeking Everyday Holiness” at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Orlando, Florida, November 5. 

Rabbis Chuck Feinberg and Amy Eilberg presented a session on “The Path of the Mensch: Jewish Wisdom for Everyday Living” at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, on November 17.

bulletin boardWELZOO: Raise funds for The Mussar Institute without actually spending any money! All you have to do is make welzoo.com your start page. Since it’s a simple setting in your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer), changing it is easy and there is no cost to you or to TMI. Once welzoo.com is your start page, go on the Internet as you normally would. Just for landing on Welzoo (automatic since it’s your start page), they donate up to 6 cents every day to TMI. Click on this link to begin: http://www.welzoo.com/join/mussar-institut/0Vl7f24/XaR2fGc

AMAZON SMILE: Bookmark this link to help The Mussar Institute each time you do eligible shopping through AmazonSmile: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-2095736. Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to TMI.  

VIDEO BLOGS: Check out these new short video blogs by Rabbi Chaim Safren of the Calgary Kollel in Canada, and one of our esteemed TMI teachers, on the subject of The Mussar Mindset: Part I and Part II.

New 3-minute Mussar video blogs come out a few times each month and deal with everyday opportunities for Mussar practice. Very engaging and sometimes even fun!

SAVE THE DATES: The 2016 Practice Retreat dates are set: April 10-13 on the West Coast and June 5-8 on the East Coast.


field of poppiesThe Practice Corner

How do we cultivate yirah? The awe-struck, tremulous feeling that opens our hearts to spiritual insight is actually available to us at every moment, if we make the effort. The Psalm (16:8) —“I place God before me always”—teaches us this lesson by requiring of us that we be active in seeking yirah. You must do something to “place” God before you. But what? To gain a yirah-inducing glimpse of the transcendent, you must sharpen your inner awareness to perceive divine Oneness wherever you look. You can practice shifting your inner vision to apprehend the scintillating divine presence in an apple, a table, a car, a baby’s eyes, anywhere in this world. When you make that choice and adjust your perception in this way, you have placed HaShem before you and yirah is sure to overtake your heart as if the floor beneath you had suddenly fallen away.


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Through a Mussar Lens: Understanding and Experiencing Yirah – by Alan Morinis

It was Magic... – by Roann Altman


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Copyright 2015 © The Mussar Institute

A Mussar Gem

Yirah is not anguish, not pain, not bitter anxiety. To what may yirah be likened? To the tremor of fear which a father feels when his beloved young son rides his shoulders as he dances with him and rejoices before him, taking care that he not fall off. Here there is joy that is incomparable, pleasure that is incomparable. And the fear tied up with them is pleasant too. It does not impede the freedom of dance … man dancing with child on his shouldersIt passes through them like a spinal column that straightens and strengthens. And it envelops them like a modest frame that lends grace and pleasantness … If a person is sure that the “bundle” of his life’s meaning is safely held high by the shoulders of his awareness, he knows that this bundle will not fall backwards, he will not forget it for a moment, he will remember it constantly, with yirah he will safe keep it. If every moment he checks it—then his heart is confident, and he dances and rejoices …
In the Footsteps of Yirah, Rabbi Avraham Elya Kaplan


2x2 on #GivingTuesday


wwwfollow us on facebook

FOLLOW US ON:

Forward to a friend

Join our mailing list


Donations & Memberships

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

Thank you to our generous donors & members:

Membership

TMI Membership for 2015–2016 is now open. Support TMI and take advantage of special offerings for members. Click here for more information. 

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: 305-610-7260