This past Rosh Hashana ushered in not just any new year but a Shemitah year. Just as the Torah marks the seventh day as a day of rest, every seventh year is designated as a Sabbath year. Like Shabbat, the Shemitah year embodies a theme of rest—only in the case of the seventh year, it is not people but the land that is given a break, from cultivation. Additionally, some debts are remitted and certain slaves are entitled to go free.
A monthly question from readers. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month’s question: “One of the products that flows from “letting go” is creativity. Is creativity a middah?”
We are excited to announce the appointment of four distinguished Mussar teachers to serve as faculty for The Mussar Institute’s annual fall Kallah. Two members will serve as Core Faculty and two as Rotating Faculty.
Would you welcome more peace in your life? Can you find equanimity, alongside the pressures of everyday life, so that you can experience greater joy? How do you achieve a greater sense of balance? What helps restore your peace of mind?
TMI is offering a half day of learning in our Mussar Caravan in various cities. The Mussar Caravan may be coming to a city near you:
- May 3 – Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, New York University, Manhattan. Register now.
- May 17 – Stanford University Hillel, San Francisco Bay Area. Register now.
Help spread the word about these exciting events. Tell your friends and other potential students in the area about this wonderful learning opportunity.
Mussar for Children
The Mussar Institute is offering a new curriculum specifically geared to children ages 3 to 8—Jewish Values for Everyday Living: Mussar for Children.
The nine-month curriculum was developed by Michelle Princenthal in conjunction with TMI for use in both ECC and religious school programs, regardless of denomination. It incorporates easily into school programs, pairing Jewish values (middot)—forgiveness, patience, friendship, trust, silence, responsibility, courage, generosity, and kindness—with Jewish holidays and festivals.
For more information or to purchase the Mussar for Children curriculum, go to http://mussarinstitute.org/jewish-values-children/
To do this exercise, you need five nuts or candies and a jar with a neck that is big enough just to fit your open hand as you slip it in. Place the nuts or candies in the jar. Then put your hand in and grasp the nuts or candies. Try to remove your hand while holding on to the nuts or candies. Could you do it? Now release the contents from your fist. Will your hand slip out once you let go?
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