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In This Issue
Welcome to the October edition of Yashar. We hope that your Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were meaningful and that moving into Sukkot you will be filled with the joy of the Holy Days.
I would like to share with you a teaching from Rabbi Shimon Green who is head of Birkas HaTorah, a yeshiva in Jerusalem. He points out that our daily life is like being in kindergarten. In kindergarten the room had a small plastic kitchen in one corner, a plastic carpentry set in another, a fake garden in another and dolls and action figures in the fourth corner. It’s all playful, but more than that, kindergarten was a training ground for us to learn how to use a real kitchen, a real workbench, cultivate a real garden and develop loving relationships with real people. Likewise, our life here on planet Earth is like a kindergarten, a forum within which we experiment with kindness, love, anger, patience, trust and all the myriad of character traits that make up who we are. The ultimate goal is that we grow up and have a meaningful relationship with G-d, but the important lesson is that we cultivate that Divine relationship through relationships with others and with our self.
As we begin a new year, I wish you blessings and growth in the months ahead. On the same theme, I want to share with you a look at the blessings and growth that are to be found in the ways Mussar is being studied and practiced today. Have a look at what’s going on:
MUSSAR KALLAH – The seventh annual exciting and inspiring gathering of Mussar students and teachers will occur in Phoenix Oct. 25, under the strong leadership of Rob Beller. (If you have not yet registered, be aware that space is limited so I urge you to register now.) I visited Tucson and Phoenix and spoke in 10 synagogues to build local interest in the Kallah.
Leading a Va’ad: What it Takes
Editor’s Note: Yashar welcomes contributions that inspire or teach fellow Mussar students. Our goal is to make space each month for guest articles. Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Alan asked me to write about my experience leading an on-going Mussar va’ad for the past 3-and-1/2 years in Manhattan, I was honored because it was an opportunity to practice Mussar: to do a deed that reflects awareness of “from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you stand to give judgment and accounting: the King of kings of kings, Hakadosh Baruch Hu (Pirkei Avot 3:1).” I have been learning and practicing Mussar since Alan created The Mussar Institute (TMI), and in 2005, I trained as a Pathlighter, an experienced Mussar practitioner who leads va’adim for TMI courses. Part of the training required leading a va’ad in a TMI course, however, instead of learning TMI’s material solely through the Internet, meeting in chevruta or a lay-lead va’ad, the students were led by me, a trained facilitator, which as a method overall has proven to enrich students’ practice and experience of Mussar.
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ALAN'S SPEAKING TOUR - BUFFALO HERE HE COMES!
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REGISTER FOR THE MUSSAR KALLAH
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