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Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar Paperback – December 2, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Morinis, director and founder of the Mussar Institute, summarizes the practice of Mussar "in the phrase tikkun ha'middot ha'nafesh—improving or remedying the traits of the soul"—while emphasizing that it is not self-help. Rather, "it means working on yourself, but not for the sake of yourself... but... to bring the soul to wholeness and holiness." Each of us is born with an inner soul that is irrevocably pure, but the outer layers constantly engage in the age-old struggle between good and evil. By determining our soul curriculum, or "issues that repeatedly challenge [us]," we can strengthen our souls and therefore every aspect of our lives. Specifically, he addresses 18 soul traits: humility, patience, gratitude, compassion, order, equanimity, honor, simplicity, enthusiasm, silence, generosity, truth, moderation, loving-kindness, responsibility, trust, faith and yirah (a combination of fear and awe, without a true English counterpart). In most cases the explanations are clear and delightfully illustrated with colorful Talmudic tales, though occasionally some traits, like moderation and generosity, seem at odds with each other. Early on, Morinis explains that a Mussar book should be read "slowly, in little segments, so the material can be thoroughly absorbed and digested." So, too, should readers of any religion take their time with this engaging tome of wisdom, lore and suggested practice. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate this way of refining and elevating your inner life and outward actions. Everyday Holiness is an exceptional resource, illuminating how true spiritual transformation can take place in our lives one day at a time.”—Spirituality and Health
“Clear and delightfully illustrated. Readers of any religion should take their time with this engaging tome of wisdom, lore, and suggested practice.”—Publishers Weekly
“A readable, engaging, friendly book. . . . [Morinis] writes as one besotted with the Jewish path, but not so intoxicated as to forget the conventions of the secular. He’s an accessible guide, and a sober one.”—Jewish Daily Forward
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In Everyday Holiness the branch is held back so I can see the path away from my wandering and really move forward in small practical daily steps. Now moving forward is up to me, and the time-efficient methods developed in the 19th century make this the 21st century person's optimal approach. I will use this book not just as a beginning, but will read sections of it over and over. I hope that one day my newly-autographed copy will look like the well-worn map at the end of a wonderful trip. My trip will be different than the trip you take with the same map, but I believe it's the right map for many worthy and individualized trips.