Mussar 2018

Mussar, which is often translated as 'discipline', has been developed for a thousand years by the Jewish community. It may be regarded as practical sanctification in that it helps one to change and become a more effective instrument in God's hand.

In order to follow the discussion, the following images will be helpful:

Midot - open to improvement

Midot - open to improvement

Midot - more useful

Midot - more useful

Body, soul and spirit

Body, soul and spirit

Human architecture

Human architecture

How the nefish evaluates behavior

How the nefish evaluates behavior

  • Introduction to Mussar
    Introduction to mussar. Understanding how humans are designed is fundamental to figuring out how to change. In addition to explaining what mussar involves, this session includes a discussion of the functional components of a human being.
  • Mussar 01, Humility
    Biblically, Moses was described as the most humble of men. What does that mean to us today and how might we attain that status?
  • Mussar 02, Gratitude
    Gratitude requires seeing the good in every situation. Because we are unable to see the future, this is not always obvious, but it is usually there. This session starts with a discussion of the previous exercise on humility and then lays the base for the next which is gratitude.
  • Mussar 03, Patience
    Patience is a virtue that you don't need until you're ready to lose it. The alternative is generally anger which doesn't make things better at all.
  • Mussar 04, Honor
    Honoring one's fellow, who is created in the image of God, is the first step toward loving your neighbor as yourself. Discussion of the previous exercise on patience and introduction to honor.
  • Mussar 05, Generosity
    Biblical generosity is giving from the heart. It is not the commanded giving of tithes. Being in the image of God, we should have open, giving hearts.
  • Mussar 06, Kindness
    Chesed or loving kindness is a major attribute of God, being mentioned over 200 times in the Tanak. When we exercise chesed, we sustain other people and allow God's light to shine through.
  • Mussar 07, Enthusiasm
    When God has something for you to do, doing it quickly is almost as important as is obedience.