MIDDAH A MONTH is an intermediate/advanced-level customizable program that is distributed to your inbox each month. It is a self-study, deep dive into the middot and Mussar practice.
To design your course, select any or all of the following middot in any order:
- Attentive listening/Shmiat HaOzen
- Equanimity/Menuchat Ha’Nefesh
- Gratitude/Hakarat Ha’Tov
Silence I / Shmirat HaLashon
The simplest reason to “guard the tongue” is so we do not say things that are hurtful, damaging and regrettable. It could be said that the real practice is not silence itself, but rather discernment, which entails knowing when to speak and when to hold your peace. Knowing when to speak, how to speak, and when to remain silent are some of the issues explored in this unit’s readings.
Silence II: Shitkah / Contemplative Silence
Here we will delve into the second important dimension of Silence stressed by our Mussar teachers, which is contemplative silence. Silence provides the capacity to reveal and come to know the deepest wisdom. Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe points out that most of us do not need to be encouraged to speak. That flow begins in infancy and seems to tap a bottomless spring. Rather, what needs to be learned is how to be silent. Through a range of materials, we explore the practice of contemplative silence: how to do it, and what it offers to the one who would ascend.
Friendship / Chaveirut
The definition of friendship changes with every generation, as it changes throughout our own life. We travel from playmates to business associates to spouses. We have Facebook, Plaxo, and LinkedIn friends, gym friends, and synagogue friends. So many friends! Yet we still often remain with the nagging question– do I have any friends? This unit explores one of the richest possibilities of life- Friendship: What qualities are needed to be a good friend? To have a good friend? How does one grow closer to another human being at the deepest soul level?
- Texts from both modern and traditional Mussar sources
- Kabbalot for your daily Mussar practice
- Suggestions for your morning phrase/chant in English and Hebrew
- Short Mussar texts, artistic pieces and stories for each middah
- An essay from Rabbi Avi Fertig, Director of Mussar, to introduce each middah and ask key questions related to it
- A Mussar Quotations Document
- The Practice Corner with a discussion of practices related to the middah
- Traditional Mussar Texts with Study Questions
- Modern Mussar Texts and Essays
- Stories and Artistic Pieces
Can Groups Take Middah a Month? This program is primarily intended for independent study and practice but can also be used by groups with a designated leader who has training in Mussar facilitation, a specific practice. If you need guidance using Middah a Month materials in a va’ad setting please consider taking our foundational training course, Yesod. To register a group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When to Begin: You can begin Middah A Month at any time and will receive your first package around the first of the month following registration.
Start Date: The materials for Middah A Month are sent on the first day of each month, unless that day is Shabbat or a holiday, commencing with the month after you first register.
Registration & Fees: The per student cost for the course is: $15 per middah, $10 per middah for one year. For groups under 10, $120 per person. For groups of 10 or more, $90 per person. If you want to register a group, please do not register online. Contact the course administrator at email@example.com