Yashar

straight • upright • righteous

newsletter of  The Mussar Institute

APRIL 2015  • ORDER/SEDER

APRIL 2015

ORDER/SEDER


A Mussar Gem

“There are seven characteristics of a wise person. One is that he responds to first things first and to last things later.”
– Pirkei Avot 5:10


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


MUSSAR PRACTICE RETREAT 2015

May 31 – June 3, 2015
Pearlstone Conference Center
Baltimore, MD

Register Now


With Heart in Mind

Available now! Order

 


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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:

  • Max & Anna Baran, Ben & Sarah Baran, and Milton Baran Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles; Evelyn Baran
  • Steven and Joan Belkin
  • Leonard Hoffman
  • Bonnie Houghton
  • Caroline Isaacs
  • Joanne Lancin, in memory of Celia Spurr
  • Lowell and Julie Potiker
  • Irv Robinson
  • Ann Rollins, in honor of Pam Rollins
  • Miriam and Daniel Scharf
  • Gary Shaffer
  • Lee J. Slavutin
  • Nina Piken Yarus and Gary Yarus
  • Yael Yepez

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: 305-610-7260

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Alan MorinisThrough a Mussar Lens: Seder’s Deep Roots in the Subconscious

With the Pesach seders days away, the middah [soul-trait] that looms large before us is “order.” The Hebrew for “order” is that very word seder—the name given to the ordered Passover festive meal. Seder/order gives us the name as well of the prayerbook [siddur] and of the officiant at a wedding (mesudar). The trait of order figures so centrally in prayer, festivals and rituals because Judaism sees order as a necessary quality for one who would engage in spiritual processes and growth. How can we achieve that ideal when most of us are anything but orderly in our affairs?

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seder plateTen Mussar Teachings for your Pesach Seder (5775)

Because Pesach celebrates liberation from slavery, it is a holiday ripe with spiritually infused symbolism and practices. Because that liberation was not only freedom from slavery but also freedom to willingly praise, worship and serve the divine, it steers away from the license of the libertine, which is also the fruit of freedom, and takes on the qualities of a practice. Whereas the service of slavery is imposed by others, the service of spiritual practice is freely chosen.

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bulletin boardBulletin Board

Lots of goodies on the bulletin board this month. Mini-Kallot! Pesach webinar! Chevruta Partners Needed. Mussar for teens? Mussar videos with our own Chaim Safren. Videos on Jewish ethics. Check them out!


Embracing Winter through Mussar

It is winter in Buffalo and it is cold outside. Not just cold, but frigid! Outside my window, heavy snow is falling and, according to my weather app, the wind chill is minus 3 degrees. Buffalo born, I tend to take winter here for granted, and just get through it. But for many others, this time of year can be both physically and emotionally challenging. So how can we get through these cold, often dreary months? That I can tell you with one word—Mussar!

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Jewish Values for Everyday Living: Mussar for Children

Child exclaiming in "aha" momentWouldn’t it be wonderful if the Mussar values we have been learning and practicing could be made accessible to young children? What if these principles could not only be taught in the classroom but also be reinforced by parents at home? And what if all the materials needed were easily accessible and ready for use? Well, such is the case with a new curriculum being offered by The Mussar Institute (TMI) specifically geared to children ages 3 to 8—Jewish Values for Everyday Living: Mussar for Children.

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Practice Corner

The Alter of Slabodka (Rabbi Noson Tzvi Finkel, 1849–1927) insisted that his students conduct themselves in an orderly way. He would say, “A hole in one’s sleeve is a hole in one’s head. A wrinkled, tattered hat is a sign of confusion.” Note that what he focused on is how a person dresses, and indeed, that was part of the Slabodka approach and method. They would say, if you want to internalize a trait, make that trait part of your behavior. In the case of order, that would translate into creating external order so that the trait of order will become implanted in your heart, in keeping with the teaching of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in Path of the Just, who says, “External motions generate internal motions.” As you behave, so you become.

orderly wardrobeIf order is your goal and disorder is your habit, undertaking to try to get everything in order is likely to fail. A much better strategy is to pick one area of your life and make order in that specific sphere. It could be your clothing, as the Alter seems to suggest, or it could be the kitchen, your study, the garage, the garden, a single filing cabinet. If you can create order in one specific area, you will start to get a feel for order and its rewards. A successful experience in that one realm will give you a taste for being orderly that you can then take and apply in other areas of your life.


Newsletter Home

Through a Mussar Lens: Seder’s Deep Roots in the Subconscious by Alan Morinis

Ten Teachings for your Pesach Seder

Bulletin Board

Embracing Winter through Mussar by Susan Goldberg Schwartz

Jewish Values for Children


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Copyright 2015 © The Mussar Institute


A Mussar Gem

“There are seven characteristics of a wise person. One is that he responds to first things first and to last things later.”
– Pirkei Avot 5:10


Chevrah members access the HomeSite here


MUSSAR PRACTICE RETREAT 2015

May 31 – June 3, 2015
Pearlstone Conference Center
Baltimore, MD

Register Now


With Heart in Mind

Available now! Order

 


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:

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: 305-610-7260