Everyday Holiness: The Course
A home learning program in Mussar led by Shirah Bell.
Based on the book Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar
Start Date: This
course is self-paced and can begin at any time.
Mussar is a centuries-old Jewish tradition that can help you develop inner awareness, and bring about transformation of the traits of the soul, in order is to become the finest version of the person you already are. The goal is to fulfill the soul’s purpose, to love and to serve.
Learning and practicing Mussar requires guidance and support of a kind not easily found today. Everyday Holiness: the course offers an accessible and flexible program of personal learning and practice, individualized guidance and group interaction (through a moderated forum for questions and personal reflections). This comprehensive program provides the resources needed to come to a deeper understanding of the Mussar discipline and put its methods to work in your life to bring about lasting change.
If a group signs up to do the course together, we provide additional learning and practice assigments specifically to support the group.
There are no prerequisites for this program, and no language other than English is required.
Your learning program is made up of 15 lessons covering 13 soul traits. The text for the course is Alan Morinis’ newly published book, Everyday Holiness. Each lesson consists of:
In addition, Everyday Holiness: the course provides you with:
In addition, direct one-on-one consultation and support from a Mussar teacher is available (for an additional fee).
Participants will be guided in an active engagement with Mussar as a spiritual tradition and a discipline, in order to learn and to transform.
Note: One "hiatus"—i.e., a break of up to three months—in the course, is permitted. At the end of the hiatus, a fee of 50% of the ordinary fee is payable for re-registration in order to pick up the course again. A break of more than three months, or a request for a second hiatus, will be considered dropping out of the course. The fee for re-registration after dropping out of the course is 100% of the course fee.
Alan Morinis, author of Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar (2007) and Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (2002), is an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of the Mussar tradition and regularly gives lectures and workshops. Born and raised in a culturally Jewish but non-observant home, he studied anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. His doctoral thesis was published by Oxford University Press as Pilgrimage in the Hindu Tradition. He has written books and produced feature films, television dramas and documentaries and has taught at several universities. For the past ten years, the nearly-lost Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion and commitment, guided by Rabbi Yechiel Yitzchok Perr, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway, NY.
Shirah Bell directs The Mussar Institute’s introductory-level educational offering, Everyday Holiness: the course. She is Vice-President of the Institute’s Board of Directors, co-leads Mussar programs with Alan Morinis, and trains individual Mussar students.
Shirah originally entered the workforce with a degree in economics and earned MBA and PhD degrees in finance and organizational behavior from Stanford University. Raised in a Reform Jewish home in Brooklyn, she began serious study of her Jewish heritage and spirituality in 1986 after a life-threatening illness. She is certified in Spiritual Direction, guiding people in that practice of holy listening – attending to the Divine presence in everyday life – and has been studying Mussar since she met Alan Morinis at a book signing for Climbing Jacob's Ladder. Shirah has a breadth of experience in both corporate and religious organizations, and is skilled in designing methodologies to facilitate learning in non-traditional settings.