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Dedicating an issue of Yashar is a meaningful way to honor the memory of a loved one, to celebrate a joyful occasion or milestone. For details on sponsorship, please contact info@mussarinstitute.org.

In This Issue

Welcome Modya Silver
Through a Mussar LensBy Alan Morinis
Mussar in Psychiatric Practice - Harvey Rosenstock
Mussar Want-Ads
Upcoming Events and Announcements


By Modya Silver, Co-President

Welcome to 2010. The Board and all those involved in The Mussar Institute hope that it is a wonderful year filled with everything that you want and perhaps a few pleasant surprises too. There is a tendency in some Jewish circles to not acknowledge January 1 as the beginning of a new year. However, I think that this is a missed opportunity. While we have four “new years” within the Jewish calendar year, I think that any opportunity to stop and reflect on time gone by and time to come is worthy of attention and celebration.

Read more.

By Alan Morinis

Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe published his great work of Mussar, “Alei Shur,” in the 1990s. This great scion of the Mussar yeshivas of Lithuania passed away in 2005. These two facts serve to underline how recently we had a Mussar master living among us. And because he lived so recently, he was aware of the modern world and of us who inhabit it.

Another factor that contributed to Rabbi Wolbe’s sensitivity to contemporary life is revealed in the fact that the name his parents gave him at his birth was August Wilhelm Wolbe. He was raised in a non-observant Jewish home in Berlin, and he had a secular education at the University of Berlin (1930-1933). As his religious and spiritual life developed, he eventually found his way to the Mir yeshiva in Poland, where he became a student of the Mussar mashgiach [supervisor] there, Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz.

Read entire article.

mussar in action

Mussar in Psychiatric Practice
By Harvey Rosenstock

Q&A: A Psychiatrist’s Use of Mussar As a Tool

Yashar: Tell me briefly about your practice?
Rosenstock: I’m a board-certified psychiatrist. My practice includes adult, family, child and adolescent psychiatry. I do individual psychotherapy. I also do marriage therapy and group psychotherapy.

Yashar: How long have you been practicing Mussar?
Rosenstock: I’ve been involved and really thinking about Mussar for the past five to eight years. I’ve read “Duties of the Heart,”  “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder,” “Everyday Holiness.” and “Zohar.” I’ve been a Talmudic student for over 13 years.

Yashar: How did you begin to think you could use Mussar in your practice?
Rosenstock: Some years ago I had an interesting patient who couldn’t find meaning in her life. Everything was black. Getting out of bed was the biggest task of the day. But the patient was a college educated intellectual.  So I tried to teach her something she probably didn’t know in an attempt to engage her strengths. I took out a Mussar book out and started talking about how to find substance and joy in everyday life. This peeked her interest. I began with the trait of Trust. This was selected because of the imperative to establish therapeutic rapport with any given patient. Especially for those with paranoid issues, the establishment of trust is critical to all of psychotherapy.

Read entire interview.

Mussar Want Ads

Mussar Partner Wanted

Mussar partner wanted in Skokie Ill., W. Rogers Park, or Lincolnwood and not too distant Chicago areas. Contact: Mike Fisher 847-602-5982 vaschka@comcast.net

Books for Sale

I have a boxed set of two books: “The Ways of the Tzaddikim” from The Torah Classics Library, Feldheim Publishers. Size 6 1/2"x 4 1/4".These books have not been used as I have found the print to be too small for my aging eyes. Offering them at the price I paid: US $26.99. I live in Vancouver, BC. Call 604-327-6799


The Mussar Institute depends on the generosity of supporters. Please consider making a donation to honor someone or to remember a loved one.

  • Julie August
  • Sam Axlerad, Houston Jewish Community Foundation
  • Max and Anna Baran, Ben and Sarah Baran, the Milton Baran Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community, Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Regina Begliutti
  • Joan and Israel Brenner
  • Susan Henley
  • Felice Joyce
  • Robert Mandel
  • Barbara Pachano

Donations gratefully accepted here.

events and announcements


Need a chevruta partner? Do you have a Mussar book for sale or one you are seeking? Whatever your need or want in the area of Mussar, beginning this month, The Mussar Institute's newsletter, Yashar, will add a new feature—"Want Ads." You can advertise your need or request by sending it to wantads@mussarinstitute.org. We'll be sure to include your ad in the next issue of Yashar, as long as we get your ad by our deadline. The deadline is the 10th of each month.


Middah A Month

Mussar thoughts, teachings, exercises and inspiration will be delivered to you, a new middah [soul-trait] in a monthly package. You'll receive carefully selected excerpts from Mussar texts -- to study on your own or with a partner -- stories to inspire children, exercises to help cultivate that trait, and a surprising and changing range of materials to deepen and enrich your engagement with Mussar and your own soul, one middah at a time. 

Registration Now Open


If you live in New York or Los Angeles, you will soon be able to join a small group of people for the most enriched and challenging Mussar program we have ever developed. Over a two-year period, a maximum of 40 people will participate in a stimulating and challenging engagement with contemporary thinkers and leaders who will focus on Mussar subjects, though not necessarily only from a Mussar perspective. Among the subjects: a study of Jewish ethics with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin; and learning with a senior Mussar teacher (perhaps Rabbi Yechiel Yitzchok Perr, or Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein) who will explore Mussar methodologies of transformation with an expert in neuropsychology.

NETWORK – Mussar Group Leader Support

The Mussar Institute has trained more than 50 people to lead Mussar groups, and another 16 people are about to embark on the Manchim group leader training program. As this growing cadre of group leaders continues to form groups and lead people in the exploration of their inner lives and growth, the leaders themselves have needs. This new program will provide enrichment in Mussar learning as well as intensive supervision and support to people leading Mussar groups, especially our Manchim graduates. The first learning program will be a 10-part series of webinars with Rabbi Yaakov Feldman exploring highlights and issues in the Mussar classic, "The Duties of the Heart." 

For more information on any of these programs, watch your inbox or email Info@Mussarinstitute.org


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