straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute


December 2012

Kallah Recap



To what may Awe be likened? To the tremor of fear which a father feels when his beloved young son rides his shoulders as he dances with him and rejoices before him, taking care that he not fall off. Here there is joy that is incomparable, pleasure that is incomparable. And the fear tied up with them is pleasant, too. It does not impede the freedom of dance.
Rabbi Avraham Elya Kaplan

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Save the Date: Mussar Kallah XI is coming October 1821, 2013, Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center, Zion, Ill.


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October in Zion

Jeff AgronThis past October, I spent nine wonderful days at the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center in Zion, Ill. It was a long time to be away from home, but it was for good reasons.

For the first five days, I was engaged with 11 rabbis from across the denominational spectrum for our first-ever Mussar Retreat for Rabbis and Cantors. It was wonderful to see such enthusiasm from a group of Rabbis for the work that we are doing at The Mussar Institute. They came to nurture their own souls and to learn how to bring more Mussar practice to their own communities, whether synagogues or schools. The feedback we received was positive, and we are now planning the next Mussar Retreat for Rabbis and Cantors, which will be October 13 to 17, 2013, in Zion, Ill.

Then for the next four days, I was with 60 other souls engaged in Mussar learning and fellowship at Mussar Kallah X. Yes, it is hard to believe that we have had ten Kallot. I believe I have attended six or seven; a few have even attended all ten.

We were treated to teaching and guidance from our Scholars in Residence, Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe and Rabbi Yaakov Feldman, as well as from other teachers who are part of our wonderful community. We davened together, meditated together, ate together (sometimes in silence), studied together (in chevruta) and made new friends while catching up with old friends.

It takes a lot of work to make the Kallah happen. I come away exhausted each year, but always with a feeling of great accomplishment—not for myself, but for the future of TMI and our growing Mussar community. Now that I am rested up, the planning starts for Mussar Kallah XI, October 18–21, 2013, in Zion, Ill. Hope to see you there.


Newsletter Home
Through a Mussar Lens: Moving Forward after 10 Kallahs – by Alan Morinis
Welcome – by Gary Shaffer
October in Zion – by Jeff Agron
My Mussar Journey – by
13 Middos – Neil Harris
New “Middah a Month” Program for 2013
Special Offer for Kallah XI
The Practice Corner

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