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)

new-life
daily-walking
  • 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
daily-stairway
  • 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

21-enthusiasm

Start and finish strong.

Enthusiasm is approaching a task with zeal and the desire to accomplish it. It is vital in maintaining momentum in a productive and positive life. If one displays too much enthusiasm, it appears as obsessive and manic, while a complete lack of enthusiasm shows itself as listless and uninterested. Enthusiasm brought out in the right way is contagious and can be very inspirational to many.

middah gallery

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

humilitypatiencegratitude
orderequanimityconcentration
enthusiasmsilenceawareness
adaptabilitymoderationdecisiveness
loving-kindness

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


how do you get zerizut?
Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." Genesis 24:58 One thing I’ve observed about the male psyche in my years of counseling married couples is a certain resistance to interruptions, however reasonable and appropriate, including (or should . . .
over-the-top enthusiasm
Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels. And Miriam chanted for them:Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously;Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea. (Exodus 15:20–21) When Miriam leads the . . .
enthusiasm and endurance
I love to run. Three years of cross country in high school planted that love firmly in my bones. For any sport, enthusiasm plays a big role. . . .
enthusiasm… real or put on?
Over the few years of my life, I have encountered many people who were enthusiastic over one thing or another. Sometimes they seemed too excited over whatever it was than I thought was necessary for that thing. . . .
an enthusiastic word
It’s hard to imagine a more enthusiastic response to God than the one commanded in the Shema: “You shall love Hashem your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” . . .
turn up the heat
Around the time I entered high school I discovered that it was not “cool” to be enthusiastic. As a matter of fact, phrases like “be cool” and “that’s chill” reflected the tendency towards austere distance from the world. Looking back I realize the whole attitude was pretentious and fear . . .
a diligent accounting
During the month of Elul, Jewish tradition recommends that everyone practice one of the main disciplines of mussar, cheshbon ha-nefesh, or taking an account of the soul. . . .
rungs to climb
The Hebrew word for diligence is zerizut.  Zerizut translates to alertness, enthusiasm, agility, nimbleness, alacrity, expedition, smartness, briskness.  This definition doesn't necessariy have to do with the physical, although it can depending on the circumstances. It is better e . . .

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