• August 17, 2022
  • 19 5782, Av
  • פרשת עקב

Teshuva & the Musar Movement

Teshuva & the Musar Movement

Who were the founders of the Musar Movement? What did they seek to accomplish? What were their views on teshuva (repentance). Join Rabbi David Sedley and learn about the lives, ideas, and writings on repentance of Rabbi Yisrael Salant, Rabbi Yitzhak Blazer, Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam and Rabbi Simcha Zissel Broide (the Alter of Kelm).

September 7, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Teshuva & the Musar Movement: Lesson 1
Class description

Rabbi Yisrael Salanter and Teshuva: Yisrael Lipkin, better known as Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, was the founder of the musar movement. According to musar, the Torah is the guide to make us into better people, but we have to actually learn and internalise the messages of the Torah, leading to not only a better intellectual understanding but also to improved behaviour. Rabbi Salanter is credited by some with discovering and writing about the subconscious several years before Freud invented psychology. In this shiur we will also look at a quirk of history which led to Benjamin Franklin being one of the indirect influences on Rabbi Salanter as he was conceiving of the musar movement. And we will learn some passage from Rav Yisrael about repentance and teshuva to prepare ourselves for Elul.

September 14, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Teshuva & the Musar Movement: Lesson 2
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Rav Simcha Zissel Ziv, the Alter of Kelm: In his recently published book “Rabbi Simhah Zissel Ziv and the Path of Musar” Rabbi Geoffrey D. Claussen writes as follows: “The leading musar teacher Rabbi Simhah Zissel Ziv of the late 19th century was deeply troubled as he walked along the main road in his town of Kelm, which had been paved by the king’s prisoners sentenced to slave labor. He would be troubled by their suffering. “How can people walk calmly through this place,” he wondered, “when people suffered so much and invested their blood and sweat?” Today in 2016, we have labor injustices, workers mistreated and much of the cheap merchandise that we buy is produced by slave labor. But do we have any authoritative traditional Jewish voice that makes Jews sensitive to these sufferings?” This constant thoughtfulness and concern for others is one of the hallmarks of the mussar movement in general and Rav Simhah Zissel in particular. He was the foremost student of Rav Yisrael Salanter, and helped turn his ideas into a musar “movement” (although musar never became a “popular movement”).In this shiur we will look at his life and learn some of his teachings, including his ideas on teshuva, and how each individual must come to view him or herself as part of a community.

September 21, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Teshuva & the Musar Movement: Lesson 3
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Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer: Also known as Reb Itzelle Peterburger, he was one of the main students of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, who wrote and published Rabbi Yisrael’s works. He was Chief Rabbi of St. Petersburg, later became joint head of the Slobodka Yeshiva, and eventually moved to Israel. The author of a halakhic work, Pri Yitzchak, this shiur will focus on Reb Itzell’s mussar writings and his views on teshuva.

September 28, 2016 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Teshuva & the Musar Movement: Lesson 4
Class description

Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel.