Mem

Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

   

December 2012

Kallah Recap


A MUSSAR GEM

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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Practice Corner

Cultivating yirah is a matter of attuning inner vision to find the awesome anywhere at all. And true awe brings with it a sense of dread, arising from the recognition of just how frail and inconsequential we are. The inspiring words of William Blake from "Auguries of Innocence" point the way:

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Find something in your immediate environment that, when you stop and contemplate, speaks volumes of the wonder of creation. It could even be your own body. Your eyes that see or ears that hear or stomach that digests, all through no creation of your own. Can you see the vast world in that one object or process? Can you find heaven peeking through? Yirah does not protest phenomenal reality; rather, it offers direct affirmation of the eternal that lies within the worldly.


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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