New Course for Chaverim-Only from Avi Fertig, Director of Mussar
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.
The elements of the program will be:
- A bi-weekly live webinar by Avi meeting Wednesday’s at 3:00 PM ET. Live sessions will last between 60-75 minutes.
- Chavruta study in off weeks, with guidance provided for each session that may also be used as journaling prompts.
- Students will be guided to create their own Kabbalah (active practice) for the two- week period and to create their own phrase, based on one idea that resonated from the lesson.
- Participation in an online forum for discussion on our Canvas platform.
- All live sessions will be recorded and sent out to participants. A separate audio-only file will also be sent.
Understanding how challenging scheduling is across time zones, there is no expectation that participants attend the live meetings. Students are encouraged to establish a regular chavruta study in the off weeks between live sessions to review the text and lessons. We will help match students upon request.
DATES: The tentative dates for the 12 live sessions (spanning six months) will be every other Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET (with one week off for Passover) January 22, February 5, 19, March 4, 18, April 1,22, May 6,20, June 3, 17, and July 1.
LEVEL: Open to Chaverim only with some prior Mussar experience. The course is designed for advanced students.
- 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:
- The book, in Hebrew with the most popular English translation, can be purchased here: https://www.feldheim.com/path-of-the-just-mesillas-yesharim.html