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By the time you read this, Sukkot will be finished for this year, a great time of joyous celebration that comes hot on the heels of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Our mood during Sukkot was one of joy, and now we start to move into a quieter time, as the autumn takes grip and the days become shorter.
When we ate in the sukkah and then said grace after meals, we inserted a “harachaman” line that said, “The compassionate one. May G-d erect for us David’s fallen booth.” The fallen booth of David represents the Temple, but on a more general level it represents a fall that any of us might make on our path to spiritual growth. There is a line in Proverbs that says “a tzaddik (righteous person) falls seven times and gets up.” The common understanding of this line is that even righteous people make mistakes, and the important thing is to get back up again. However, the Sefat Emet, a great Chassidic Rebbe, says that it is the falling seven times that makes a person into a tzaddik.
ULTIMATE REFLECTION TOOL FOR THE MUSSAR PRACTITIONER
To enhance your Mussar experience, internationally-recognized clay artist Helene Oppenheimer has created this beautiful hand-sculpted Tree of Life Middah Holder with a choice of 26 Middah Tiles as found in Every Day, Holy Day by Alan Morinis.
This Tree of Life Tile Holder and accompanying tiles makes a practical yet unique and meaningful gift – to your own soul or someone else’s.
For further details click here.
I have written and taught about many Mussar topics but never yet about marriage. With the happy day of my daughter Julia’s marriage coming early this month, I actually can’t think of much else right now, and so that makes it appropriate that I bring a Mussar lens to this blessed event.
The Mussar teachers have framed a number of different goals that we ought to pursue in our lives, one of which is shlemut, or “wholeness.” They have described our inner reality as consisting of a panoply of traits, some of which are not currently in a state of completion. Recognizing which traits are not whole at this moment, and then taking steps to fill out those traits, defines an individual’s soul-journey to wholeness.
How to Get Your Ad in Yashar
Need a chevruta partner? Do you have a Mussar book for sale or one you are seeking? Whatever your need or want in the area of Mussar, you can advertise your need or request in Yashar by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be sure to include your ad in the next issue, as long as we get your ad by our deadline. The deadline is the 10th of each month.
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