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Musar movement

Origin and Development of the Musar Movement: – Originated among non-Hasidic Misnagdim Orthodox Lithuanian Jews in response to social changes from the Enlightenment and Haskalah […]

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Origin and Development of the Musar Movement:
– Originated among non-Hasidic Misnagdim Orthodox Lithuanian Jews in response to social changes from the Enlightenment and Haskalah movement.
– Founded by Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin Salanter, drawing on classical rabbinical literature for moral teachings based on traditional Jewish ethics.
– Early leaders like Rabbi Yosef Zundel Salant emphasized Jewish business ethics and established Musar-focused institutions.
– Second-generation leaders further developed the movement after Rabbi Salanter’s death, leading to controversies in Orthodox segments over educational methods and assimilation concerns.

Historical Impact and Aftermath:
– Many Musar movement participants were killed in the Holocaust, leading to a decline in the movement’s living community.
– Some survivors settled in Israel and the US, contributing to Jewish institutions and continuing Musar studies in traditional yeshivas worldwide.
– A 21st-century revival in North America has seen significant interest in the Musar movement, with organizations like The Mussar Institute and the Salant Foundation promoting its teachings among both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews.

Practices and Teachings of the Musar Movement:
– Musar is a contemplative path involving techniques to overcome life barriers, including text study, meditation, silence, and diary practices.
– Emphasis on Jewish meditation practices, short morning meditation sessions, and focusing on single words like ‘Shma’ for meditation.
– Giving charity and using speech to admonish or correct (giving Musar) are central practices aimed at molding lives through love and formal lectures (musar shiur).

Nigunim and Chant in the Musar Movement:
– The Musar movement encourages chanting of nigunim, with distinctive traditions developed in the 19th century.
– Nigunim are used at the start and end of Musar study sessions to create an emotional experience and enhance the overall practice.

Literature and Resources of the Musar Movement:
– English-language bibliography includes studies on the 19th–20th-century Musar Movement and contemporary works adapting its teachings.
– Various contemporary authors have written about the Musar movement’s teachings and impact, with resources available from institutions like The Mussar Institute for further exploration and study.

Musar movement (Wikipedia)

The Musar movement (also Mussar movement) is a Jewish ethical, educational and cultural movement that developed in 19th century Lithuania, particularly among Orthodox Lithuanian Jews. The Hebrew term Musar (מוּסַר) is adopted from the Book of Proverbs (1:2) describing moral conduct, instruction or discipline, educating oneself on how one should act in an appropriate manner. The term was used by the Musar movement to convey the teachings regarding ethical and spiritual paths. The Musar movement made significant contributions to Musar literature and Jewish ethics. The movement has been revived in the 21st century amongst Jews of all denominations, particularly in the United States.

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