Instruction, resources & community for those seeking greater awareness, wisdom, and transformation through the Jewish spiritual path of Mussar.

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MIDDAH A MONTH is a customizable program that is distributed to your inbox each month.

MIDDAH A MONTH is right for you if you are interested in self-study and a deep dive into the middot and Mussar practice.

To design your customized course, select any or all of the following middot in any order:

Attentive listening/Shmiat HaOzen

Compassion/Rachamim

Enthusiasm/Zerizut

Equanimity/Menuchat Ha’Nefesh

Generosity/Nedivut

Gratitude/Hakarat Ha’Tov

Holiness/Kedusha

Honor/Kavod

Humility/Anavah

Joy/Simcha

Love/Ahava

Order/Seder

Patience/Savlanut

Trust/Bitachon

New Middot

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?

You’ll receive

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

More

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 mamadmin@mussarinstitute.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 if you sign up for one year. You get 12 middot for $120 per person
  • If you have at least 10 students registering at the same time, then you will receive 12 middot for $90 per person. If you want to register a group, please do not register online. Contact the course administrator at mamadmin@mussarinstitute.org