Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

MUSSAR: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Posted by challahbackgirl on November 6, 2007

For over 1000 years, wise teachers within the little-known Jewish spiritual tradition called Mussar have been engaged in a project. They have carefully investigated human life to come up with a system of practical guidance that is meant to help us live our lives to their fullest spiritual potential. Sometimes they called the goal “holiness,” and sometimes the ideal is to be “whole” or even more simply, “a mensch.” They plotted the map and the trail. In this session, one of the foremost contemporary interpreters of Mussar will show you how to apply Mussar in your own life, and why you will want to do that.

Brunch and Learn at Congregation Beth David
MUSSAR: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

November 11, 2007
Sunday 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Speaker: Alan Morinis, PhD, Author and Teacher (The Mussar Institute)


Alan Morinis, The Mussar InstituteAbout the Speaker:
Alan Morinis is an anthropologist, filmmaker, writer, and student of spiritual traditions. He 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.

Alan has written books and produced feature films, television dramas and documentaries and has taught at several universities. Although he took a deep journey into Hindu and Buddhist thought and practice, for the past 10 years the nearly-lost Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion; a journey recorded in the book Climbing Jacob’s LadderEveryday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar (Broadway 2002). His guide to Mussar practice, entitled , was published in May 2007. He lives in Vancouver, B.C. with his wife of over 30 years, Bev Spring.


6 Responses to “MUSSAR: What Is It and Why Should You Care?”

  1. therapydoc said

    As long as there’s no yelling, I’m in 🙂

  2. Oyster said

    Is that an actual comment, Therapydoc, or are you just trying to get some traffic?

  3. therapydoc said

    I was really just kind of making a joke. In my shul, as soon as the rabbi really wants to SAY SOMETHING, the volume goes up and it is a little scary. I’d go but I live in Chicago. 🙂

  4. Oyster said

    And for the record, that dude’s eyes really freak me out.

  5. Oyster said

    Oh, okay. Just checking, because it wasn’t clear to me if your comment was related to the post. 🙂

  6. therapydoc said

    When I think of musar, it’s all about shoulds, someone should-ing. And as a therapist, I see people who have problems with all the shoulds in their lives, often because so many shoulds are seen as absolutes and they’re out of context. And there IS a tradition of screaming musar (shoulds) from the pulpit, a process of ramming the point home, more than guilting even.

    So it was half in jest, but half not really in jest, Oyst.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: