Mussar is a path of contemplative practices and exercises that have evolved over the past thousand years to help an individual soul to pinpoint and then to break through the barriers that surround and obstruct the flow of inner light in our lives. The Jewish community spawned Mussar to help overcome the inner obstacles that hinder people from living up to the laws and commandments, the mitzvoth, that form the code of life.

The roots of all thoughts and actions can be traced to the depths of the soul, beyond the reach of the light of consciousness, and so the methods Mussar provides include meditations, guided contemplations, exercises and chants that are all intended to penetrate down to the darkness of the subconscious, to bring about change right at the root of our nature.

There will be three opportunities to learn more about this fascinating and meaningful aspect of our tradition this year.

1. On Yom Kippur during one of the afternoon breakout sessions, Jennie Spallone will instruct us in one of the basic midot, or qualities of Mussar.

2. On December 7 at 7:00 p.m., the second night of Chanukah, there will be a 45-minute webinar with Alan Morinis, who is the founder and dean of The Mussar Institute and an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of the Mussar tradition. His guide to Mussar practice, entitled Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar, was published in May 2007. His newest book on Mussar, With Heart in Mind, was published in August 2014.

3. Four week course taught by Jennie Spallone on February 10, 17 and 24 and March 2 from 7:00—8:30 p.m. Participants will learn to balance “soul traits” which impact lives, bringing daily joy or conflict. Examine Mussar as a guidance system for the soul on its journey in this life, your own personal soul curriculum, as well as the soul traits of humility and trust. RSVP to the Temple Office or to [email protected] by January 20, 2016.