Mussar is a practice that draws from the vast storehouse of Jewish wisdom, law, revelation, and text and brings it right home in a way that is completely tangible. 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 48 methods through which one can acquire Torah-and turns them into a straightforward weekly practice. They include cultivating humility, joy, awe, forbearance, goodheartedness, closeness with friends, not taking credit for oneself, love of charity, and so on. Working through each quality or method, the reader goes through the process of refining their soul and developing a strong and open heart.
ALAN MORINIS is a filmmaker in Canada and is currently editing a collection entitled Sacred Journeys: The Anthropology of Pilgrimage.