The Mussar Institute

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Path of the Soul

An advanced program of Jewish education and practice.

Created by Alan Morinis and led by a senior facilitator trained by The Mussar Institute.

The study and practice of Mussar helps you recognize your own personal program in living, and provides you with the tools needed to follow that curriculum – which means growing toward wholeness.


Participants who have completed:

  • Season of Mussar II or Everyday Holiness and
  • Mussar in Action

are eligible to enroll in the Path of the Soul course.

Students may go directly into Path of the Soul from Season of Mussar II and Everyday Holiness only with permission of TMI.


The Path of the Soul course is offered in two formats:

  1. Local Path of the Soul

    People who participate in a local group take the course as two terms, one 16 weeks and one 13 weeks.. People who take the first term may opt to continue for the second, but no one can start with the second term. The start date for a local group will be determined by the local group facilitator.
  2. Distance Path of the Soul

    The full 29-session course is offered once a year as an internet and telephone-based distance learning program. See below for start date.

The middot (soul-traits) included in this curriculum are:

  • Vigilance – 4 sessions
  • Alacrity – 4 sessions
  • Abstinence – 3 sessions
  • Purity – 2 sessions
  • Piety – 4 sesions
  • Humility – 2 sessions
  • Fear of Sin – 2 sessions
  • Holiness – 1 session

Note: There are several orientation sessions and introduction sessions before the middot begin.


What is the path of the soul? And more to the point, how do you recognize and follow yours? Only by answering these questions – not in theory, but in the flesh of your life – can you discover and follow the track that leads to your most elevated spiritual destiny.

Path of the Soul is nothing other than a curriculum for wholeness, complete with assignments, learning, challenges and tests. Each of us has his or her own curriculum, though not everyone is aware that his or her life-course is a curriculum, nor engages with it consciously.


  1. Shining light on the path of the soul to uncover the stages, levels, dynamics and pitfalls the soul encounters as it seeks its way toward healing into wholeness; and
  2. Making accessible Mussar’s wisdom to guide a wise and successful traverse of this path. We are fortunate that the way has been marked, across valleys and over high ridges, under bright sun and through the darkness too.


At this level, you receive additional training to become a lifelong Mussar learner and practitioner, both independently and as part of the growing Mussar community. An engaged participant in Path of the Soul will come away with:

  • A clear understanding of Mussar teachings that describe and light the path of the soul.
  • New insight into their own personal spiritual curriculum.
  • Tools and practices to help guide his or her soul’s journey.
  • A new depth of spiritual maturity.


The materials and methods we work on will be there to support your ongoing learning and practice in years to come. It involves several components of Mussar learning and practice:

  1. An online curriculum (requires access to internet and email) that follows the chapters in Path of the Just (Mesillas Yesharim) by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto.
  2. A peer support group (face-to-face va'ad if locally available, otherwise by internet/telephone).
  3. You will receive a weekly reading from Alan Morinis focusing on highlights from each chapter of Path of the Just. We will deal with the 9 middot that parallel the chapters of Path of the Just.
  4. Accounting of the soul (cheshbon ha'nefesh) is the core of daily practice, and to support keeping a daily diary, we have developed a looseleaf worksheet for a cheshbon ha'nefesh diary that we will provide to you to print out and use, if you wish.
  5. You will be matched to a compatible chevruta study partner with whom you will have a meeting or phone discussion every second week. You will be provided with recommended text quotes and discussion questions for your chevruta study session.
  6. Your small va'ad group of 6-8 people will meet in the alternate week (between chevruta meetings) to discuss the assigned weekly chapter of Path of the Just, with the aide of questions and text quotes developed by Alan Morinis.
  7. Process reports at the mid-way and end of the program, will help you evaluate your progress with the help of your facilitator or a Mussar Instittute mentor.
  8. During the course of the program, you will be invited to have a conversation with a senior Mussar Institute teacher for personal interaction, questions and guidance.


REGISTRATION: Registration is on an ongoing basis.
: Local groups can start any time, as determined by TMI and the facillitator. We require 2-3 weeks advance notice of a new group. Our first distance group will start the week of November 20, 2016.
DURATION: 6 months. The course generally runs on a weekly basis but we try to be flexible to accommodate the specific needs of any group.
i. Local Path of the Soul: The first term is $200 per student and the second term is $160 (16/13 sessions).
ii. Distance Path of the Soul:  $360 for the full 29-session course.

Please note: Fees do not include long distance telephone costs should chevruta or group meetings take place by phone.

Please complete the registration form found at the link at the bottom of this page. For more information, email:

Local Course Payment:
Please check with your facilitator before paying for this LOCAL course. Your facilitator will tell you which option is being used by your group:

  1. Pay directly to the institution sponsoring your Local group.
  2. Pay by PayPal/Credit Card at this site.


For withdrawal before the program has begun:100% refund
For withdrawal within the first two weeks after the program has begun: 50% refund
For withdrawal after the first two weeks after the program has begun: no refund

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