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Here is an accessible and inspiring introduction to the Jewish spiritual tradition known as Mussar. Well known in the Orthodox Jewish world, Mussar is an illuminating, approachable, and highly practical set of teachings for cultivating personal growth and spiritual realization in the midst of day-to-day life. The ultimate goal of Mussar is to become a more whole and holy person. The path is simple: learn to be a mensch, a deeply good and decent human being, or what has been called an "extraordinary ordinary person."
The core teaching of Mussar is that our deepest essence is inherently pure and holy, but this inner radiance is obscured by extremes of emotion, desire, and bad habits. Our work in life is to uncover the brilliant light of the soul. The Mussar masters developed transformative teachings and practices—some of which are contemplative, some of which focus on how we relate to others in daily life—to help us to heal and refine ourselves.
Alan Morinis, founder of the Mussar Institute, presents these teachings in terms that anyone can understand and put to use. Everyday Holiness features short chapters on eighteen key character traits that the Mussar masters emphasize, including humility, generosity, gratitude, trust, patience, and enthusiasm. Morinis also explains how to make Mussar practice part of our daily lives. Here is a welcome resource for all those who are interested in reinvigorating their religious lives, exploring contemplative spirituality, and making spirituality part of everyday life.