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19.11.15

Israel Salanter and the Musar Movement

I have mentioned a few times about Israel Salanter and the Musar Movement --that is the movement directed towards getting people to learn medieval Jewish Texts about ethics. I mentioned also that I think Musar needs to be coupled with The Guide of the Rambam and the other basic texts of Jewish Philosophy from the Middle Ages.


Faith with Reason is not so much what I am thinking about but rather Fear of God coupled with Reason. That is  הלא יראתיך היא כסלתיך. (This is a verse from the book of Job. It means, "Is not your fear  your stupidity?)

 But even when I recommend Maimonides or other books of Jewish Philosophy I am not necessarily agreeing with everything they say. All I am saying is their works and texts are important to learn and to try to incorporate in my life.

The way I do that is one thing but others might have a different way of incorporating Fear of God and Reason into their lives. That fact was understood right at the beginning of the Musar movement, Reb Israel Salanter made it clear from the beginning that everyone has a different area of Musar they need to work pon and only they can know what it is. No one can tell them.
My own approach is tailored to my needs. I try to learn a little Musar, a little Talmud, a little Physics. And in each subject I try to find what is most appropriate for me. I suggest others do the same--but find what is applicable to them.