THE GATES OF MUSSAR ARE OPEN
A JEWISH SPIRITUAL TRADITION
BECOMING YOUR BEST SELF - FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS
A SACRED SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY - OPEN, LEARNING, DEEPENENING CONNECTIONS
A FEW WORDS FROM THE FOUNDER OF THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE
There is the potential for our approach to Mussar to be perceived as self-help, exclusively on a humanistic plane. Our approach, the Mussar approach, is deeply rooted in the Torah and with this rootedness comes several layers of reality; additional to the worldly, there is a spiritual presence within the material. There is divinity. This is a spiritual perspective on self-help, making Mussar distinct from other approaches. As we say, working on the self but not for the sake of the self. We are more than a lineage and tradition, there is this truth, this emet, that is the foundation of all we say and do. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the spirituality of Mussar. It broadens the perspective of what is the self, what is one's responsibility to develop their "selves" and this is all so germane to the Jewish perspective.
- Alan Morinis, Founder, June 2021
The Mussar Institute welcomes Jews from across the spectrum of beliefs and practices, as well as seekers from other faith traditions, who want to learn and grow from the Jewish Mussar tradition. Our teaching and courses draw on the 1,100 year history of Mussar. With authentic Jewish source materials drawn from different eras, places, and cultures, we recognize that some ideas, concepts, and perspectives may be challenging to process - and wrestle meaning from - in our current time. Asserting a Mussar stance of learning from all people and situations, experience has shown that differences can be a source of enrichment, learning, and spiritual growth.
Therefore, with kavod / honor, we invite and encourage personal perspectives that elevate, illuminate, and contribute to the internalization of these ancient texts, making meaningful connections between our lived experiences and our traditional Mussar teachings. Engaging with different points of view, dialogue, and even argument are central learning processes in a Jewish context, and we welcome and embrace this aspect of our tradition for the sake of deepening our understanding of ourselves, our Jewish tradition, and each other. When the question is asked in Pirkei Avot, “Who is wise?” the answer that is given is, “One who learns from every person.” This is the principle that guides our interactions.
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