Alan Morinis is founder and dean of the Mussar Institute, and an active interpreter of the teachings and practices of the Mussar tradition. For the past 16 years, the nearly-lost Jewish spiritual discipline of Mussar has been his passion, a journey recorded in his book “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” (Broadway 2002). His guide to Mussar practice, entitled “Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar,” was published in May 2007, and his newest book on Mussar, “With Heart in Mind,” was published in August 2014.
Mr. Morinis’s webinar is entitled “Teshuva Mind.” Teshuvah is usually translated as “repentance,” though the literal meaning of the word is “returning,” and the time of year when this spiritual house-cleaning is emphasized is right now, during the month of Elul through to Yom Kippur. What makes it possible for us to engage in teshuvah is because human beings have the capacity to choose to change themselves. We are called to undertake teshuva not only because it is right that we clean up the messes we make, but because teshuva is an essential activity in the process of personal transformation that is a central concern of Judaism, especially at this time of year. The Jerusalem Talmud goes so far as to say that through teshuvah on Rosh Hashanah, one can actually become a new person. We will focus on Jewish lessons in personal change that make such a radical transformation possible.
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