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Chodesh Elul:
The Golden Opportunity and its Demands

Lesson 3: Aug 29 / Elul 7

Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer (known as “Itzele Peterburger”; 1837-1907) was a primary disciple of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter. Once, in his later years, Reb Itzele gave a talk in the Slabodka Yeshiva before Rosh Hashana. He cried out to the students, “Do not make the same mistake I did, telling yourself there is still time, I'll repent and correct my character when I'm older. That's what I did! And now look at me! I'm old and I don't have the strength anymore to change my ways! Don't wait! Do it now!”

Identify two areas of your spiritual growth that you tend to put off for another time. Journal your thoughts about what is causing you to put off the work needed to make a change. Also journal any thoughts you may have about how you might remedy the situation.

Your practice for this week is to establish a consistent Journaling practice.

When this fundamental Mussar exercise is understood and implemented, it provides an essential tool for you to gain access to your inner life. Self-knowledge and heightened awareness of one’s inner life is the starting point for a meaningful Elul and is a life changing experience for everyone who commits to this daily exercise. Click this link to access your practice instructions for this week.

Click this link to access this week's video. Click here to access an archive of our Elul material.

If you would like to sponsor a day or week in Elul in memory or honor of somebody, please contact Steven Kraus steven@mussarinstitute.org


Today’s learning is sponsored by Gary Yarus, in memory of his father, Leonard W. Yarus, who was known for his perseverance (hat’mada).

Whatever hand he was dealt, he pushed ahead, and made the best of it. Whether it was The Great Depression, a flyer in World War II, walking away from a full scholarship to University to support his brothers and sisters— Dad persevered.

In memory of his mother, Marilyn S. Yarus, who was known for her welcoming guests (hachnasat orchim). Our home was the gathering place 24-7. We had visitors at 7:00am and visitors at midnight. We had guests for dinner many times a week. Mom taught her kids to “smile and be nice.” That was our job while she made every guest welcome.


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