This issue of Yashar is dedicated in memory of Cynthia Magaril (1930 – 2014) z”l, mother of Rob Mass.
The burden of stress weighs heavily on people’s minds and bodies these days. Stress levels have been shown to cause or influence many illnesses and disorders, and stress has been called a latter-day epidemic with a $1 trillion cost to individuals, families, communities and workplaces.
There is a Jewish response to stress that has been known and practiced for at least a thousand years.
Each month, Yashar will send a question to one or two Mussar teachers on an idea, practice, text, middah, or other Mussar-related challenge that someone is confronting. Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org .
This month’s question:
“How does one differentiate between trust and faith? They are often used to mean the same thing, though they are clearly different middot.”
A Bitachon Bond
Longtime study partners Bonnie Leopold of California and Joanne Lancin of New Jersey explain how they ended up with matching “bitacon” license plates.
Yes, Thanksgiving is behind us and the days are getting even shorter, which means that Hanukkah will be here very soon. But I’d like to focus on gratitude for just a little while longer. What gratitude I have for all of you who joined us at The Mussar Institute’s 12th Kallah last month. What a great celebration of Mussar values. What a great coming together of so many people from across the U.S. and around the world.
Reflect on what happened to you in the past few days that has been good. Did something you hoped for come through? Did someone express love for you? Were you provided what you need (which is not to say everything you want)? Even if something that is apparently negative also happened, can you find the good that was also there in your life?
Reflect in your own life on how much care you have recently received at the hands of the universe. And then trust that this is how life is, and how it will be. Draw from the evidence of your own life the sound basis to have confidence.
When you see and acknowledge the ways in which life is set up to support the processes of life, then that is a very affirming experience. Look for that in your own recent experience. Is it there? It must be. Let that direct experience feed your trust.
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