Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

November 2013  • Gratitude

November 2013

Gratitude


A MUSSAR GEM

“If a person is so obligated to be grateful to his friend for just bread, how much more so if he received a great deal of good, and ever much more so if he received from him a spiritual good, for example, he taught him wisdom or guided him on a good path and separated him from a bad one—this is a great good which nothing surpasses.”
— Rabbi Eliezer Papo, Pele Yoetz, Chapter 188


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  • Steven Belkin
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  • Sara Devora Chrysler
  • Lila Davidson
  • Art Donsky
  • Emily Fox
  • Martin Friedman
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  • Josh Gressel, in honor of Shirah Bell
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THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE

For further information on The Mussar Institute, visit www.MussarInstitute.org
Email address: info@mussarinstitute.org
Phone: 778-300-6174

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Yashar, the newsletter of The Mussar Institute, September 2013

Modya SilverThrough a Mussar Lens: Keeping Gratitude at the Forefront

A while ago I had the pleasure and privilege to hear the now-retired Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Lord Jonathan Sacks, in conversation with one of the world’s greatest religious philosophers, Dr. Charles Taylor. Rabbi Sacks spoke about gratitude (hoda’ah) and bestowed a blessing—the blessing we say when we see an outstanding scholar. In the short formula of the blessing, Rabbi Sacks affirmed that it is our Creator who gave knowledge to Dr. Taylor and for that we are very grateful.

Gratitude seems like a simple middah to develop, but how many hours or days go by when you do not express gratitude in a clear and direct manner, whether by Hebrew formula or by your own creation?

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Kalinka Moudrova-RothmanMy Mussar Journey

In late 2003 I came across an announcement for a Mussar course at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. Without delay I signed up for the course, which promised a combination of spirituality, introspection and self-improvement. It was love at first sight. Shortly thereafter Alan Morinis came to our synagogue to speak about Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, and before long I was a student of the online Course in Mussar I.   

Although I grew up in an atheistic environment in communist Bulgaria, I have always believed that my life had a purpose and that there was a higher power guiding me on my way. Like many other Mussar students, I was fascinated by Eastern teachings and more specifically by the philosophy of yoga. But I was afraid that embracing a yogi lifestyle would mean retreating from this world and leading a secluded life. Mussar later showed me that spirituality and life in New York City are not mutually exclusive.

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Rabinnic students at the Academy for Jewish ReligionWorld of Mussar: Bringing Mussar to New Clergy

For the past two academic years, we have had the opportunity to facilitate Mussar va’adim at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJRCA). Dedicated to the training of rabbis, cantors and chaplains from all the denominations, AJRCA places a strong emphasis on the spiritual development of its students, including two years of Mussar study. Many of the students have already had one career and come to their religious studies later in life. They bring with them a breadth of life experience and maturity. Students are using Season of Mussar I and II materials from The Mussar Institute.

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Len FelsonMussar Kallah XI: A Review

In the early days, even for a couple years before The Mussar Institute was born, Alan Morinis held kallot, or one-day gatherings, in cities across the country to spread the word about new ways to practice the ancient spiritual tradition. The first was in New York. Others followed in Houston, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and Phoenix. Four years ago, TMI settled on a weekend retreat over Shabbat at the Illinois Beach Resort, a modest hotel and conference center facing Lake Michigan, about an hour north of Chicago. Coincidentally, the name of the Illinois town where the spiritual gatherings have been held is Zion.

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facebook post on gratitudePractice Corner

Create a list of things for which you are grateful. Each day this week, add three new items to the list. At the end of the week, post your 21-item list to The Mussar Institute’s Facebook page.


Newsletter Home

Through a Mussar Lens: Keeping Gratitude at the Forefront – by Modya Silver

My Mussar Journey – by Kalinka

Around the Mussar World: Bringing Mussar to New Clergy – by

Mussar Kallah XI: A Review – by Len Felson


Help us keep our records updated.
Please notify us when you have a change of address, phone number and especially a new email.

Copyright 2013 © The Mussar Institute


A MUSSAR GEM

“If a person is so obligated to be grateful to his friend for just bread, how much more so if he received a great deal of good, and ever much more so if he received from him a spiritual good, for example, he taught him wisdom or guided him on a good path and separated him from a bad one—this is a great good which nothing surpasses.”
— Rabbi Eliezer Papo, Pele Yoetz, Chapter 188


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


Generosity Week is Feb. 23-28, 2014.  Save the date.

Now available as an eBook!

Climbing Jacob's Ladder


wwwfollow us on facebook

FOLLOW US ON:

Forward to a friend

Join our mailing list


Study Mussar

Course registration for fall is open

Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


Donations

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

Thanks to these generous donors and members:

Become a member of The Mussar Institute.

Donations are gratefully accepted.

pushke


THE MUSSAR INSTITUTE

For further information on The Mussar Institute, visit www.MussarInstitute.org
Email address: info@mussarinstitute.org
Phone: 778-300-6174