The Mus­sar Torah Com­men­tary: A Spir­i­tu­al Path to Liv­ing a Mean­ing­ful and Eth­i­cal Life

September 1, 2019

This Mus­sar-based com­men­tary is a vital resource for Torah study, offer­ing a thought­ful analy­sis of each of the 54 week­ly parashot. Each essay in this anthol­o­gy brings a parashah into jux­ta­po­si­tion with one of the Mus­sar mid­dot (char­ac­ter traits in Jew­ish ethics), pro­vid­ing an applied lens of Mus­sar teach­ings that helps us to delve deep­er into our tra­di­tion with increased mind­ful­ness and intention.

Discussion Questions

The Torah can seem for­eign or irrel­e­vant to our dai­ly lives, com­ing off more as a his­to­ry book or a col­lec­tion of sto­ries, but in fact it is an active les­son book on how we should car­ry out our days.

Rab­bi Bar­ry H. Block’s The Mus­sar Torah Com­men­tary, sub­ti­tled A Spir­i­tu­al Path to Liv­ing a Mean­ing­ful and Eth­i­cal Life,is a love­ly col­lec­tion of essays bring­ing us these active dai­ly lessons, and dis­cussing moral con­duct and oth­er prin­ci­ples that can be derived from each week’s Torah por­tions. It brings char­ac­ter-build­ing into the entire year, not just dur­ing the Omer count­ing peri­od between Passover and Shavuot or sum­mer months.

Each chap­ter is tack­led by a dif­fer­ent Torah schol­ar, bring­ing fresh per­spec­tives and com­men­tary to the week’s por­tion. Prac­ti­cal take­aways are dis­tilled. Each chap­ter usu­al­ly ends with an intro­spec­tive prompt to inner growth, bring­ing an ele­ment of cus­tomiza­tion to the reader’s Torah study. Ques­tions help the read­er med­i­tate on per­son­al and eth­i­cal growth and asks them to think about how the Torah fus­es with their own life and how they can then apply the lessons learned to improve them­selves and their com­mu­ni­ties. The Mus­sar Torah Com­men­tary trans­forms the Torah into a bril­liant and rel­e­vant self-help book.