Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path to Mussar, by Alan Morinis

Experience profound and practical teachings to discover happiness, wisdom, and achieve your highest potential amid the struggles of everyday life. Each chapter features a key character trait (or quality of the soul) found in traditional Mussar teachings, including humility, generosity, gratitude, trust, patience, and enthusiasm.

With Heart in Mind: Mussar Teachings To Transform Your Life, by Alan Morinis

Alan shares weekly spiritual practices for developing a strong and open heart. In short, accessible chapters, this book describes 48 methods through which we can acquire Torah and straightforward practice. They include cultivating humility, joy, awe, goodheartedness, closeness with friends, not taking credit for oneself, judging others favorably, and so on. The fruits are a refined soul and a strong and open heart.

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: One Man’s Rediscovery of a Jewish Spiritual Tradition by Alan Morinis

This book tells the story of Morinis’ journey to meet and learn from his teacher and reveals the central teachings and practices that are the spiritual treasury and legacy of Mussar. Jewish by birth, though from a secular family, Alan earned his doctorate from Oxford University for his study of Hindu pilgrimage, learned yoga in India with B.K.S. Iyengar, and attended his first Buddhist meditation course in the Himalayas in 1974. But in 1997, when his film career went off track, and he reached for some spiritual oxygen, this time he felt inspired to explore his Jewish heritage. In his reading, he happened upon a tradition of spiritual practice called Mussar that dates from the 10th century and became a socio-spiritual movement in 19th century Europe. Alan’s hope is that Jews and non-Jews alike will find in Mussar a time-tested path of spiritual practice that will help them discover the hidden radiance within.

Every Day, Holy Day, by Alan Morinis

This is an essential companion for anyone who wants to experience the life-changing gifts of Mussar. “You shall be holy,” teaches the Torah. The masters of the Mussar tradition have crafted a roadmap to help people approach that lofty goal.

This book focuses on 26 traits, or middot—such as loving-kindness, strength, generosity, compassion, honor, and equanimity—each of which takes center stage for a week of contemplation and exercises, in order to develop and refine that quality in yourself. Every day begins with inspiring teachings that illuminate the essence of the trait. An affirmation phrase and an exercise make the lesson effective in your own life. After a day of paying attention and stretching yourself to cultivate that trait, you will journal to record and integrate your experiences.

From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace, by Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Ancient Jewish traditions offer a guide to reconciliation and peace-building in our lives and in our world.

A pioneer in the work of Jewish chaplaincy, healing and spiritual direction, Eilberg has spent the last seven years stretching her heart and mind to answer the call of peacebuilding in our world. In this much-anticipated book, she inspires and defines yet another new field, inviting Jews to join her on the spiritual adventure of the twenty-first century: encountering the “other” with curiosity and compassion. Digging deeply into her knowledge of Jewish text and tradition, Rabbi Eilberg gently but firmly shows us what it might mean to become rodfei shalom–pursuers of peace. I cannot imagine a more important journey, nor could I hope for a wiser guide. Review by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College 

Widen Your Tent, By Rabbi Micha Berger

In the introduction of his magnum opus, Shaarei YosherRav Shimon Shkop outlines his view of the purpose of Judaism, our lives, the nature of holiness, and what it means to be a good person and in the image of G-d.

His vision is one that speaks to us today. In this unique work, we use Rav Shimon Shkop’s teachings as a guide to provide direction and give meaning to our own lives.

Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change

by Rabbi David Jaffe

An inspiring and accessible guide, drawn from Jewish wisdom, for building the inner qualities necessary to work effectively for social justice. Winner of the 2016 Jewish Book Council Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice.

Changing the World from the Inside Out distills centuries of Jewish wisdom about cultivating and refining the inner life into an accessible program for building the qualities necessary to accomplish sustainable change. Through explorations of deep motivation, inner-drive, and traits like trust and anger, this book engages the reader in a journey of self-development and transformation, demonstrating that sustainable activism is indeed a spiritual practice. Jaffe offers accessible and meaningful guidance for this journey—with exercises, contemplations, and discussion points that can be used individually or in a group.