A weekly spiritual practice for developing a strong and open heart—drawn from Judaism's Mussar tradition
Mussar draws from the vast storehouse of Jewish wisdom, law, revelation, and text and brings it right home in a way that is completely practical. Judaism teaches that Torah (the collective wisdom of the tradition) provides the blueprint for human experience—and so the more of it we acquire, the more we gain a clearer, truer perspective on life and learn how to navigate its pathways. The phrase “acquiring Torah” is code for the process of internalizing this wisdom to bring about a genuine transformation of the inner self.
In short, accessible chapters, this book describes forty-eight methods through which we can acquire Torah—and turns them into a straightforward practice. These methods include cultivating humility, joy, awe, goodheartedness, closeness with friends, not taking credit for oneself, judging others favorably, and so on. The fruits of working through each quality or method are a refined soul and a strong and open heart.
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ALAN MORINIS is the founder and director of the Mussar Institute (www.mussarinstitute.org), an organization that promotes the study of Mussar through study groups, courses, and public talks. He has been a student of the Mussar tradition since 1997, training under Rabbi Yechiel Yitzchok Perr. He is also the author of Everyday Holiness, Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, and Every Day, Holy Day.
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