Just over a month ago, the Salant Foundation updated and totally revised their website. From being mostly informational, it is now a mussar destination on the web. What simply used to be eMussar email postings has matured into a mussar workshop. The free membership offers you limited access to the forums and a Gratitude Journal. Here’s some information about the gratitude journal from their website:
The Sages of the Mussar tradition designed a wonderful spiritual practice to help us recognize and appreciate the kindness that Hashem bestows on each one of us. This enlightening exercise has us reflect our lives and write down five things that we are grateful for each day. They can be items of Hashgachah Prati (Divine Providence), for instance, “Just as I pulled into a crowded parking lot, a car pulled out giving be an immediate parking space.” Or you can write down blessings that you are grateful for, like, “I have a wonderful spouse,” or more specifically, “My spouse called me at work today to see how I was feeling.”
For some time now I’ve been keeping a list of things I’ve been grateful for, but the concept of an online journal that only you can access is pretty cool. I’ve put in several entries that are more thought out than the stale list of one or two items that pop into my head.
For example: After spending a great Shabbos afternoon in the park, I am so thankful that my children are living in a vibrant Torah community. A community where they can play with dozens of kids on Shabbos that fall across the wide spectrum of Torah Judaism. Hopefully as they grow these feeling of “Shabbos park achdus” will be something they will hold on to.
With the Forward’s article, “The Path Of the Just: Is Mussar the ‘New Kabbalah’?” it seems that this derech in Yiddishkeit is getting a wider viewing ( I’ve chosen not to blogging about the Forward article). It’s a site like The Salant Foundation’s that offers a fresh approach for a generation of web users.