This issue of Yashar is dedicated in loving memory of Levi Beaupain, brother of Daniel Beaupain.
The euphoric days of Pesach freedom are just behind us and we immediately embark on a journey that will lead us to Mount Sinai, where on the holiday of Shavuot we received the Torah. You might wonder what lesson about the special days we will now traverse can be found in your first taste of really dry red wine or the first shot of an expensive single malt. We shall see. In my case, my response to these experiences was to grit my teeth, force a smile, and say how wonderful it was, while inside wondering why in the world anyone would spend fifty dollars for a bottle of this awful stuff. Beginnings are often bitter, and many of the deepest pleasures in life take time to appreciate. The Midrash puts it even more emphatically: “All beginnings are difficult,” it says. But how is the bitterness of something new transformed into the pleasure and satisfaction we crave?
As the program team begins planning for Kallah XIV, we are delighted to invite you to join us for what promises to be a new beginning for the Kallah. After six great years at the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center in Zion, Illinois, we are moving to a new venue—the wonderful Capital Retreat Center in Pennsylvania, outside the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. While we are well aware that all beginnings are challenging, we trust that any difficulties will be transformed into a truly memorable and pleasurable retreat experience.
MAY EVENTS: One-day TMI events are coming to the Rochester, NY, area on May 15 and to Los Angeles on May 22. For more information or to register, go to http://www.mussarinstitute.org/events.htm.
PRACTICE RETREAT: The East Coast retreat will be held June 5-8. You can register here. Register now, early rates extended to May 10!
OMER COUNTDOWN: Daily emails are going out with a short spiritual practice related to Counting the Omer. Members are receiving weekly weekly videos from Alan Morinis and Avi Fertig. Teachings will arrive through Erev Shavuot. It is not too late to sign up for the remainder of 2015-16 membership year and receive the videos plus recordings of our membership webinars. Join now.
MUSSAR VIDEO BLOGS: TMI faculty member Chaim Safren delivers short weekly Mussar lessons on his video blog. Check out his discussions here.
The Mussar Institute welcomes Ruth Schapira as the new Director of Leadership and Training. Ruth will use her experience as the Director of Gratz College High School and Camp Ramah to expand TMI’s efforts working with professional and volunteer leaders. She will focus on recruitment and retention, assessment and training, curriculum design, and establishing professional development opportunities.
The Practice Corner
Every human being has the potential to be a beacon of holiness in the world. The starting point on the journey to holiness is the humble task of identifying one trait in you that could be improved upon and then committing to a process of growth and development in that area. Your practice is to identify one trait and one action you will undertake to change that trait. Start like that, and the peak of the holy mountain will already have come into view.
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