Rabbi Alter Henoch Leibowitz (1918–2008) was the late Rosh Yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva in Queens, N.Y., which his father had started in 1933. His father, R’ Dovid, had been a student of the Alter of Slabodka at his Mussar yeshiva in Lithuania. Then, in 1941, when the younger Rabbi Leibowitz was still only in his early 20s, the untimely death of his father thrust him into the role of leading the yeshiva.
A few weeks from now will mark the ninth anniversary of the publication of my first book, Bridging the Gap. After years of research and writing, I thought long and hard about the final message I wished to leave with my readers. On the very last page of the book is an author’s note, where I quote part of a well-known teaching from the first chapter of Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of Our Fathers). The Talmud enjoins each of us to “Make for yourself a mentor and acquire a friend.”
I got my lesson in finding the right balance of responsibility a few years ago, as a volunteer to be the installation engineer for a small project in Haiti—
ISRAEL TRIP: Join The Mussar Institute for 10 days in Israel through the lens of Mussar. The tour, led by Alan Morinis and Avi Fertig, will take place from Feb. 19 to March 1, 2017. For more information or to register, click here.
KALLAH XIV: Registration is open for the Mussar Kallah, to be held December 1 to 4 at Capital Camps Retreat Center in Waynesboro, PA. For more information or to register, click here.
MEMBERSHIP: Information about TMI membership for 2016–2017 will be released in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your emails!
MUSSAR VIDEO BLOGS: TMI faculty member Chaim Safren delivers short weekly Mussar lessons on his video blog. Check out this recent talk entitled “Equanimity: Not Reacting to Your Reactions.”
The Practice Corner
There is no way to cultivate responsibility except to act in responsible ways, and the best place to do that is with the people who are closest to you. Every day, consciously undertake two actions with the intention of helping people in the inner circle of your life carry a burden that they bear. Not only will that help them, but that is how you cause the trait of responsibility to flourish in your heart—
Help us keep our records updated.
Please notify us when you have a change of address, phone number and especially a new email.
Copyright 2016 © The Mussar Institute