Mussar at Temple: Finding Your Inner Mensch
The deeply rewarding practice of Mussar has made a meaningful difference in the lives of members of our community. What’s it all about? The goal is to help individuals deepen character traits that are essential for leading a fulfilling life. In the Mussar language, students have a personal “curriculum” of inner growth. They pursue their curriculum through a variety of experiences: va’ad (group sharing), chevrutah (partner) study and personal meditation, reading and journaling. Mussar study goes beyond self-help, providing an authentic Jewish pathway toward holiness.
Mussar might best be described as “Jewish spiritual ethics” and has been practiced for centuries. Under the leadership of our friend and teacher, Dr. Alan Morinis, Mussar has been undergoing a revival in the Jewish world. We are fortunate to offer this curriculum created by The Mussar Institute, which was founded by Dr. Morinis. This program is endorsed by the Union for Reform Judaism and is suitable for all, regardless of your level of Jewish knowledge. There are no pre-requisites nor is Hebrew required.
We are currently offering two types of Mussar experiences to new participants. Both courses are led by trained facilitators. Choose the one that’s right for you and begin your own very special journey.
Seeking Everyday Holiness
This course explores what the Jewish tradition has to teach us about middot, or soul traits, including humility, gratitude, equanimity, patience, order and honor, among others – and discover how you can improve these qualities in your own life. The course, with Dr. Morinis’ “Everyday Holiness” as text, begins with an orientation session and meets every other week. You will explore these traits individually and in group meetings. The course meets 10 times over a 19-week period.
Season of Mussar
This program guides participants in a supervised course of Mussar learning and practice that incorporates regular partner study. Texts are acquired through The Mussar Institute and include thoughtful, compelling readings, questions, exercises and guides. An introductory session opens the course, and then participants study each middah for two weeks. On the first week, the va’ad meets to address questions, personal progress, insights and issues related to the middah. These meetings create powerful spiritual community, reinforcing commitment and deepening participants’ learning. On alternating weeks, students meet with their chevrutah partners and review additional materials provided by The Mussar Institute. The course meets for 13 consecutive weeks.
Groups are always forming, and will begin when there are enough participants. For more information, or to join or begin a group, contact Becky Slakman at 214.706.0000 ext. 125.