Avi was an exceptional teacher. His passion for the material and his enthusiasm for sharing, dissecting, and discussing the material was infectious. I couldn’t recommend this course more strongly.

Avi’s leadership and teaching of the material were outstanding. His knowledge of the topic is pure brilliance.

Messilat Yesharim is available either with a va’ad or group study led by Helain Sheias, or as independent learning without a va’ad or chevruta.

Have you struggled with ancient, classical Mussar texts and wished you had some real guidance for making the study relevant to your life? Have you been longing for a new advanced Mussar experience?

You now have the opportunity to study the classical Mussar text, Messilat Yesharim / Path of The Just, written by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Ramchal) and first published in Amsterdam in 1740.

When Reb Zundel of Salant (the rebbe of Rabbi Yisroel Salanter) asked his rebbe, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin which Mussar text to study, Reb Chaim replied, “Every Mussar text is good to learn, but Messilat Yesharim should be your guide.” In this six-month course, we will study the text line by line and in-depth from the original Hebrew and will cover the Ramchal’s introduction and first chapter of this most seminal work.

PROGRAM ELEMENTS FOR VA’AD OPTION

Students will meet online in va’ad every other week. In advance of the va’ad meeting, students will listen to the recorded lesson exploring the text line by line, and meet with their chevruta partner to review the text learned and prepare the new text. Your facilitator will help match students into chevruta pairs.

REGISTRATION: VA’AD OPTION

Students will meet online in va’ad every other week. In advance of the va’ad meeting, students will listen to the recorded lesson exploring the text line by line, and meet with their chevruta partner to review the text learned and prepare the new text. Your facilitator will help match students into chevruta pairs.

  • October 25. The first recording and written assignment will be delivered and your course will begin. Recording and written assignments will be every other week (13 sessions) over approximately 26 weeks.
  • Online va’ad begins November 4, 4:30 – 6 p.m. ET, and meets every other week, 13 sessions over 26 weeks

TUITION: $300

INDEPENDENT LEARNING

TUITION: $200 Chaverim only.

BEGINS: Near the first of each month.

LEVEL: Open to Chaverim only with some prior Mussar experience. The course is designed for advanced students.

TOPICS

  • In broad brushstrokes the topics we will cover are:
  • What is Mussar (and what it is not)?
  • The goals of Mussar and Mussar study
  • The principles and methods of Mussar and Mussar study
  • What is Ramchal trying to teach us in Messilat Yesharim? What is our purpose in the world?
  • The purpose of creation and humanity’s place in the creative process
  • Why is life challenging? Nisyonot/Tests
  • How does one achieve their life’s purpose?

REQUIREMENTS: Students must have their own text of Messilat Yesharim. No text will be provided. We will NOT follow any of the many English translations and Avi will translate the original Hebrew words according to his understanding. Students can download the text from one of the following sites:

Instructor

Rabbi Avi Fertig is Director of Mussar at The Mussar Institute. Avi has guided TMI courses since 2010. He is the author of Bridging the Gap, a comprehensive guide to important Mussar concepts and lessons from the Talmud. Born in the United States, for the past 25 years he has resided in Israel and currently lives in Beit Shemesh with his wife and six children.

Facilitator

Helaine Sheias, Ph.D. is a certified international group facilitator and Kripalu inspired Yin yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. She holds a doctoral degree in Human Sciences. Born in Massachusetts, Helaine made Aliyah to Israel in her teens, served in the IDF, and settled in Israel for more than two decades. She has been facilitating various TMI courses for the past three years.

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