The Latest Course from Alan Morinis
SPRING SESSION: April 5-May 31. Self-Paced.
When seen through a Jewish lens, this world is primarily a spiritual place infused with divinity. And, you and I are souls making our way through this spiritual world in search of the wholeness and holiness that is the ultimate fulfillment of the soul’s mission.
As the lynchpin verse of the Torah tells us: “Kedoshim tihiyu — You shall be holy” (Leviticus 19:2).
Translating that verse into practical terms, Rav Kook tells us: “Mussar is the corridor and holiness is the parlor.” How alien is that vision in our secularized, assimilated, materialistic era!
In this course, we will explore and probe the primary Jewish teachings on holiness in order to strengthen our understanding of this elusive but crucially important quality. The goal is to internalize and awaken a vivid awareness that will guide our steps in life, which is that there is no other purpose for our lives than to be holy.
The Spring Session is self-paced. Students may begin anytime. You’ll have access to the audio recordings of Alan’s webinars, written versions to download and text and study materials that can be used with chevruta and va’adim.
Tuition: Chaverim: $136; non-Chaverim: $180.00
More on Alan’s preparation and why holiness is so important to Mussar students:
Early in my Mussar studies, I realized how central the notion of kedusha is to Judaism and especially to Jewish spiritual practice.
Two years ago, I began to make holiness the major focus of my studies by taking on four weekly chevruta partnerships, each one to study a different traditional source on kedusha. I chose four study partners, in part because holiness is so central to Judaism, and additionally, because holiness is such an elusive, enigmatic topic, much has been written about it and thus, there are many sources to study.
With the help of my partners, I have worked my way through Sha’arei Kedusha, the 16th-century text by Rabbi Chaim Vital, Netivot Shalom by the Slonimer Rebbe, and commentaries by Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz of Mir, Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, Rav Kook, and Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel (the Alter of Slabodka) and others. Most of the material I have been studying has not been translated and so I have been learning it in Hebrew and writing up English translations, some of which will be shared in this course.
The study of holiness is important for Mussar students because no matter how you define it, in Jewish thought holiness represents that highest spiritual possibility to which a human being can aspire. It is the ultimate goal, the north star by which we can navigate our journey of ascent. But it is equally valuable for all who look to Jewish sources for guidance in life because our era is infused with so much darkness that makes it important to foster the radiant light of holiness, for the sake of our own lives, for our communities, and for the world.