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In This Issue
By Modya Silver, Co-President
The Mussar Institute Board of Directors recently had the privilege of spending Shabbat with Rabbi and Mrs. Perr of Far Rockaway, Long Island. Rabbi Perr is the head of the Yeshiva in Far Rockaway and is Alan Morinis’ primary Mussar teacher. Mrs. Perr is the great-granddaughter of the Alter of Novordok, one of the greats of the early days of the Mussar movement. During our extended Shabbat lunch with them, we spent time talking about whether Mussar could be learned and practiced without a connection to Torah and to mitzvoth (the guideposts for how to conduct ourselves in this world). The general position accepted by most around the table, if not all, was that at some point in each person’s spiritual path, an exploration of Torah and mitzvoth must be undertaken. This exploration requires a willingness to grow, and as we know, growth comes from stretching beyond our comfort zone.
Two parts of my life collided last month, and I am very happy and grateful to report that the impact generated nothing but joy.
From the moment I took my Mussar studies out of the library and into a search for a Mussar teacher, the two people filling those roles have been Rabbi Yechiel and Rebbetzin Shoshana Perr. You may have come to know both of them as central characters in my book, Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, or you may have seen their names in the dedication of my later book, Everyday Holiness. For more than ten years now, I have been the beneficiary of love and guidance, stories and help from my two primary Mussar teachers. My love for them runs so deep and strong.
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