Because some things can be said without music.

Hin'ni — a Kavanah on Rosh Hashanah

Hin’ni.” Here I am. Why does our liturgy feature this kavanah, this intention-setting prayer, as a gateway to the repetition of the Amidah? It seems to fit on Yom Kippur, but why do we also recite…

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You Turned Mourning into Dancing

My Dad’s health is declining, and I already mourn the loss. When he can, we view family photos, such as this one. Sometimes Dad perks up, recognizing faces, names, places, and events. Although many of the photos include images of…

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Did you hear what Mordechai did?

The Purim story reminds us to use our words carefully. Think Purim is only about pastry, fun, alcohol, and noise? Read on. 

In chapter 3, Haman doesn’t notice that Mordechai won’t bow and scrape—until the courtiers tell him. Only then…

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Be Like the Sun

From the start of Adar, we increase joy. Mishenichnas Adar marbin b’simchah. משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה [Taanit 29a] 

Adar is the month of Purim—a time of light and joy. Yet sometimes we might not feel so joyous. Maybe…

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Kallah and Pearls

A dear friend reports one of her father’s rules: If you’re ever within 100 miles of a national park, just go. My adaptation of his rule: If you’re a Mussar student and within one time zone of TMI…

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Soften and Bend

On the 8th night of Chanukah a group of friends gathered in our home to light the candles, sing the songs, play with spinning toys, talk, and eat. Together we lit 15 chanukiot, each with 8 lights plus 1…

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Keep Adding Light 

The Talmud [in Shabbat 21b] records a debate regarding Chanukah: Bet Shammai say we start with eight lights and remove one each day. Bet Hillel say we start with one light and add one more each day. We follow Bet

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18 Ways to Use Mussar Blues

Of course there are more, but 18 is enough for one post.

  1. Loop it on your phone or pocket music player.
  2. Sing along with the recording; sing it without the recording. 
  3. Sing it while you walk, bike, run…
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