Mussar is a discipline of steady personal character refinement. 
Our Mussar Master, Messiah Yeshua taught us how we should bring good fruit as a demonstration of our purposeful lives.  Mussar is one important component of being a disciple and light of Messiah.

You are the light of the world.  A city that sits on the mountain will not be hidden, nor do people kindle a lamp just to put it under the bushel measure, but on the menorah, to illuminate all who are in the house.  So also, shine your light before sons of men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16, DHE)

  • during the week...

  • gather - once or twice with your chevruta (partner) for study
  • repeat - the memory verse of the week
  • be aware - of behaviors during the day, moments that elucidate middot work
  • after sundown on saturday night...

  • finish - journal entries for friday and saturday and score yourself in your charts
  • assess - your scores in your journal charts by tallying them and reflecting on the results
  • in the morning...

  • meditate  - on the middah for the week
  • repeat - the memory verse of the week
  • be aware - of behaviors during the day, moments that elucidate middot work
  • in the evening...

  • journal - positive or negative moments related to the weekly middah
  • account -by filling in your daily or chesbon hanefesh chart

middah of the week


There are many ways to reach a destination.

Adaptability is accepting change and unpredictability, as well as knowing when to remain constant. With this trait in check, those who meet change do so with promise and are successful. Adaptability out of check displays itself as either a giddy chameleon that is far too changeable, or a rigid, unbending and frustrated type.

middah gallery

Click on an image to bring you to the middah content. The highlighted middah is this week's.


author's blog

    rav rafael Developing Mussar class at UMJC Conference
    Written by rav rafael

    Many thanks to all who attended our recent intro to Mussar at the summer 2014 UMJC Conference.  Rabbi Paul Saal and Rabbi Jason Forbes (aka. rav rafael) presented this class to a packed room. 

    Due to the amount of interest at this conference, we plan to start a new year cycle after the fall holidays, on October 19th, 2014.  Sign up on our email list to the right.  In the meantime, we recommend you get started learning with the book Everyday Holiness.

    Click "read more" to listen and view the presentation.

    Written on Sunday, 20 July 2014 20:42

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this week

age and adaptability
He not busy being born is busy dying – Bob Dylan The other day I had coffee with Hal, the father of one of our chavurah members. He had just written his second novel, this one based on his amazing experiences as a Jewish-American soldier fighting the Nazis in World War II. We got together to . . .
adaptibility and teshuvah
I love it that adaptability is included among the middot. If it weren't, we might be tempted to think of mussar as simply a set of rules, and rigid adherence as the way to virtue. We might think of mussar as saying to us, "Just stay within the lines I set and you'll be safe." But, of course, real lif . . .
everything and nothing
Once upon a time, a father and a son went to sell their old horse in the market. While they were on their way to the market, a group of people commented, “We have never seen such idiots in our life. In spite of having a horse, you are walking!” They both thought about it and sat on the ho . . .
inscribed instructions
An older man is driving down the freeway and his car phone rings. When he answers, he hears his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on route 290. Please be careful!" "Tell me about it!" says Herman. "It's not just one car. It's h . . .
relational adaptability
The middah of adaptability is fundamental to existence; it is characteristic of God Himself. For centuries, the Sages puzzled over the question of how anything besides God can exist. Is God not present everywhere in all His power? Where is the “space” for a material creation in such a univ . . .
the model of adaptability
It is rather incredible to think of all the ways in which God “adapts”  in order for us to perceive and know him. He provides us with different modes of communication and interaction over time as he watches us change. . . .
no flex, no gain
"An increase of flexibility in the mind and the heart is a gift that benefits all who come in contact with us." -- Hart Lazer in introduction to Aleph Bet Yoga by Steven A. Rapp . . .
bendable as a reed
Soon after this R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon entered [the Beit Hamidrash] and expounded thus, "A man should always be gentle as the reed and let him never be unyielding as the cedar. And for this reason the reed merited that of it should be made a pen for the writing of the Law, Phylacteries and Me . . .

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