Through the study and practice of Mussar, students balance the characteristics or traits of their nefesh (soul) that cause the light within to dim. In Hebrew, the word for traits of the nefesh is middot. The singular form is middah.

While many middot are discussed in Mussar literature, in his book, Everyday Holiness, Alan Morinis explores 18 middot and lists 58 in the Soul Trait Inventory, p. 295

Humility:  ענוה – Anavah (often spelled with two vavs as ענווה )

Patience: סבלנות – Savlanut

Gratitude: הכרת הטוב – Hakarat Ha’Tov

Compassion: רחמים – Rachamim

Order: סדר – Seder

Equinimity: מנוחת הנפש – Menuchat Ha’Nefesh

Honor: כבוד– Kovod

Simplicity: הסתפקות – Histapkut

Enthusiasm: זריזות – Zerizut

Silence: שתיקה – Sh’tikah

Generosity: נדיבות – Nedivut

Truth:  אמת – Emet

Moderation: שביל הזהב – Shevil Ha’zahov

Loving Kindness: חסד – Chesed

Responsibility:  אחריות – Achrayut

Trust: בטחון – Bitchon

Faith: אמונה – Emunah

Awe: יראה  Yirah – *No English translation is accurate. A close association is fear/awe.

1 Comment

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