Elul initiates a very special period of introspection and self-analysis, two cardinal aspects of Mussar practice. Beginning on Rosh Hodesh Elul, August 22, TMI will provide a free, daily Mussar study and practice program.
The five-week program embodies five topics around the themes of Elul and the Yomim Noraim – Days of Awe. Each week starts with a short video introducing the theme of the week and the weekly practice (one new practice each week).
Each day during the week (except Shabbat), we will send an email with a short teaching/quote on the week’s theme, a question that the teaching provokes, and a link to the video and the practice for the week.
Introduction & Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 | Lesson 6 | Lesson 7 | Lesson 8 | Lesson 9 | Lesson 10 | Lesson 11 | Lesson 12 | Lesson 13 | Lesson 14 | Lesson 15 | Lesson 16 | Lesson 17 | Lesson 18 | Lesson 19 | Lesson 20 | Lesson 21 | Lesson 22 | Lesson 23 | Lesson 24 | Lesson 25 | Lesson 26 | Lesson 27 | Lesson 28 | Lesson 29 | Lesson 30 | Lesson 31
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“A Time for Change: Mussar in Elul”
Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul…
… and as the month opens, we invite you to join us in a five‑week intensive Mussar program.
It’s traditional that the month of Elul be a time for introspection to prepare for the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. So, beginning Sunday, August 27th and culminating on Yom Kippur, we will explore five of the central themes of this period in study and practice:
- Chodesh Elul: The Golden Opportunity and its Demands
- Yirat Shamayim: Fear and Awe of Heaven as a Mussar Based Motivation for Change
- You can Change!: Focusing on Free Will
- Rosh HaShana: Kabbalat Ole Malchut Shamayim / Accepting God’s Kingship
- Yom Kippur: Teshuva / Repentance, or more accurately, “To Return”
|God was ready to annihilate the Jewish people. Moses pleaded for forgiveness. After mounting several arguments, God finally forgave the Jewish nation and directed Moses to carve the stone for the second tablets.
The sages tell us that the next day, when God called on Moses to ascend the mountain, was Rosh Chodesh Elul. Moses’s 40 days on the mountain culminated on Yom Kippur, as will our program.
Two other customs for Elul are visiting the graves of loved ones and giving charity in their names. Visiting the graves of parents and grandparents renews a sense of continuity between the sacred past and the unborn future and fosters a sense of oneself as the vital link between the two. Giving charity emphasizes that we can be our best selves only when we are also concerned for the well-being of others.
You are invited to sponsor a day, or an entire week, of this learning in memory of your departed loved ones. To make it personal and meaningful to all who participate, we ask you to identify one middah that characterized the deceased person which you (and others) can work on to honor that person’s memory. Program sponsors will be invited to participate in a special Elul/Days of Awe webinar presented by Alan Morinis.
We are requesting a donation of $236 for a one-day sponsorship and $1,000 for a weekly (six-day) sponsorship. Please contact Steven Kraus (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to honor a dear one by sponsoring this learning and whether there is a particular day or week that you would like to sponsor.