A Course by Avi Fertig

Course Structure

Each interactive webinar session will be 75 minutes and will be recorded for those who cannot join live. We highly recommend that you also study these texts in chevruta (we will assist you with chevruta pairing upon request).

Course Materials

Participants will receive a free PDF copy of the book and will have the option of purchasing the book for approximately $20 (depending on the cost of shipping from Israel). Those registering now for both Parts I and II will receive a free hard copy of the book as our gift to you.

Links to webinars and recording will be emailed to participants and all lecture recordings and additional study materials will also be accessible on our Makor learning platform for those who miss live teachings or wish to review prior lessons.

Course Schedule

Parts I, II and III of the course will be eight sessions each. We will meet weekly on Wednesdays at 3 pm ET on the following dates:

Part III: June 5, (No Class on 6/12), 6/19, 6/26, July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2024

Course Fees

Introducing our three pricing options, please select the one you are most comfortable with. If you are able to register at a higher tier, you can help subsidize course registration for those with greater financial need. All course fees are 100% tax deductible.

Tier 1 - $440 (per part)

Tier 2 - $376 (per part)

Tier 3 - $264 (per part) 

Chaverim members enjoy a 15% discount off of course pricing. Members, please select the Chaverim rate of your choice on your registration form, membership will be verified before your enrollment is secured for the course.

Learn About Our Tier Pricing Here.

In this advanced course we will study, Ohr HaTzafun – The Hidden Light, the collected writings based on the talks and teachings of the Alter [Elder] of Slabodka, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (1849-1927). The Alter of Slabodka is widely considered to be the most influential educator from within the Mussar movement initiated by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter in Lithuania in the middle of 19th century. The Alter’s unique and innovative approach stressed the individual inherent greatness of each student. With brilliant educational mastery, he helped his students to actualize their potential and become Torah leaders who went on to establish their own institutions and to impact the entire Jewish world. 

The goal of the course is to understand and absorb the educational methodology and unique Mussar approach of the Alter and to apply this approach to our personal Mussar journeys. The specific text we will use includes both the original Hebrew and an original English translation by Avi Fertig and Alan Morinis and contains eight essential essays from among the many that are published in the Hebrew Ohr HaTzafun. In Parts I and II of the course we will focus on the following topics: 

  • Three pillars of the Alter’s unique approach 
  • The reality of the spiritual 
  • The relationship between the material and the spiritual 
  • Discovering and nurturing one’s inner self 
  • A human being’s inherent greatness 
  • Actualizing potential 
  • Honor / Kavod 
  • Responsibility / Achrayut 
  • Being created B’Tzelem Elokim, in God’s Likeness 

The course is designed so that advanced students can become skilled in studying traditional Mussar texts and will be inspired to apply these lessons in their lives and in the lives of others.


Registration Open for Part III.  You must have participated in either Parts I or Part II to register for Part III

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Avi Fertig, Director of Mussar

Avi Fertig studied at the Yeshiva of Ner Yisrael, in Baltimore, before moving to Israel in 1997. While studying at the Mir Yeshivah of Jerusalem, he forged a close relationship with Rabbi Reuvain Leuchter, a foremost student of Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, a recognized master of Mussar. Since that time, he has been studying, writing, and teaching Mussar to thousands of students. He is the author of two books on Torah and Mussar. He lives in Beit Shemesh with his wife, Estie, their children and their grandson, Ariel.