Mussar is a traditional Jewish path of spiritual development that leads to awareness, wisdom, and transformation.  It is a treasury of teachings and practices that help individuals understand their true nature as holy souls, then to break through the barriers that surround and obstruct the flow of inner holiness or light. The goal of Mussar…

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Practice is inherent in the Mussar tradition. In order to develop, change, or transform on a journey toward holiness, knowledge in itself, is inadequate. While the pathway starts with learning, knowledge needs to come to life. Practice is what embeds the learning in the heart so that it becomes the fabric of who you are.…

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The study of Mussar began in tenth-century Babylonia when Sa’adia Ga’on published his Book of Beliefs and Opinions and launched an inquiry into human nature that has been going on in the Jewish world ever since. Before the nineteenth century, Mussar was an introspective, solitary practice. However, in the mid-1800s Rabbi Yisrael Salanter called on…

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Through the study and practice of Mussar students balance the characteristics or traits of their nefesh (soul) that cause the light within to dim. In Hebrew, the word for traits of the nefesh is middot. The singular form is middah. While many middot are discussed in Mussar literature, in his book, Everyday Holiness, Alan Morinis explores 18 middot and lists 58 in the Soul Trait Inventory,…

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