A Mussar Gem
The flow of divine mercy (hesed) is too rich and prolific if left unrestrained. Given free reign [sic], it would obliterate the distinction between God’s response to the sinner and to the saint; the world would be saturated with divine grace. The superabundance of hesed must be controlled in order to encourage finite creatures to act responsibly. This limitation is brought about by ... gevurah, the source of divine justice. Gevurah and hesed complement each other, gevurah limiting the flow of hesed and hesed tempering the severities of gevurah.
– Earl Lefkowitz, “Kabbalistic Musar,” an article in the collection, The Musar Anthology
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Thank you to our generous donors & members:
- *Jeffrey Agron
- Judith Alexander
- *Roann Altman
- Roger and Margrit Bernstein
- Harvey Besunder, in honor of Suzanne Stier
- *Ken Birenbaum, in honor of Alan Morinis and Avi Fertig
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- Amy Leider, thanks to Alan Morinis for “With Heart in Mind”
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- David Pinkowitz
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*Thank you to the donors who participated in TMI’s first Giving Tuesday Campaign—2x2 on Giving TUEsday. To this date, we have received more than $2,300. Our goal was $3,600, to help us develop Mussar-based programs for teens. If you had the urge to give on December 1 but did not do so, we would still welcome your donation. Donations are shown through Dec. 26.
Thank you once again to all those wonderful people who supported our effort.
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Through a Mussar Lens: Understanding Gevurah
Alan Morinis delivered a talk on the rich topic of gevurah at the 2011 Mussar Kallah, and this month, as an alternative to the usual column, we invite you to listen to the recording of the talk.
Click here to access the audio: http://media.mussarinstitute.org/audio/Kallah-2011-Morinis-Gevurah.mp3
SOUTH FLORIDA OPPORTUNITY: Alan Morinis, Dean of The Mussar Institute, will be Scholar in Residence the weekend of January 8-10 at Congregation Shaarei Kodesh in Boca Raton. For more information, click here.
CHEVRUTA NEEDED: The course Everyday Holiness and others are looking for additional people willing to serve as chevruta to current students. If interested, please contact Kalinka Moudrova-Rothman at email@example.com.
SPOTTED IN NEW YORK: Thank you to Robert Barris, who found this motorist, likely fueled by the middah of alacrity.
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. Kallah XIV will be held December 1-4 at the Capital Camp and Retreat Center north of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.
WELZOO: Raise funds for The Mussar Institute without spending any money! All you need 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
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VIDEO BLOGS: Visit the YouTube channel of Rabbi Chaim Safren of the Calgary Kollel in Canada, and one of our esteemed TMI teachers, on a variety of Mussar subjects.
New 3-minute Mussar video blogs appearing a few times each month deal with everyday opportunities for Mussar practice. Very engaging and sometimes even fun!
The Practice Corner
One of the core Mussar practices involves reciting aloud a meaningful phrase with enough voice and emotion to cause it to come alive and be imprinted firmly in your consciousness. To use that practice to cultivate gevurah, recite to yourself every morning for a week one of the following phrases:
- Self-restraint reduces suffering.
- A wise man is strong; and a man of knowledge makes strength greater (Mishlei / Proverbs 24:5)
If you prefer a line of Hebrew, consider the same quote from Proverbs:
- Gever chacham b’oz v’ish da’at ma’amatz koach.
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