Talk:Musar movement

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The article cites different definitions for the word mussar. Someone fix this. 16:23, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


Hi Ezra,

You want to delete three alleged facts: that Luzzato

  • wrote romantic plays in Hebrew and Italian
  • claimed he was the Messiah, and
  • was considered a heretic by most rabbis of his day.

Are you saying these facts are wrong? Danny is pretty well-educated, and I am generally willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Do you know for sure that Luzzato did not write plays in Hebrew and Ialian? Do you know for sure that Luzzato never claimed he was the Moshiach? Do you know for sure that most Rabbis of the day did not call him a heretic? If you know for sure, of course, you should delete these claims. But you didn't provide any explanation or evidence, so it is hard to know why you deleted it, Slrubenstein

I would add that Luzzato had nothing to do with the Mussar movement. He wrote a book. Period. About 250 years after he died, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter founded a movement called the Mussar movement because he thought that many yeshiva students were acting unethically and justifying it by the fact that they were scholarly. He therefore decided that they should spend a set amount of time each day studying ethics from a religious perspective . The primary text that he chose for this movement was this long-forgotten book. Danny

they are your words, so I won't do it, but would you put the second and third sentences of the above into the article itself? Slrubenstein

Not every fact is equal. For one, these facts belong in a biography of Rabbi Luzzato.

yes, I agree with you. Do you want to create the link and transfer the text to that article?

Second the purpose of the presentation of these facts is to denigrate both Rabbi Luzzato and the Mussar movement, and that is not NPOV.

Do you really think that the fact that he wrote plays in Italian in Hebrew is a denigration? I sincerely apologize if I am misunderstanding your sensibilities and sensitivities -- personally, I could not plays in English, let alone Hebrew and Italian, so to me this particular fact sounds like praise. As for the "heretic" part of course you are right BUT does this mean we should remove that "fact" from the Kaplan article? For us to work together we need to achieve some consistency. In any event, I do agree with you about a linked article about Luzatto with the biographica information.
Danny knew very well that an Orthodox Jew would find it odd that Rabbi Luzzato participated in such activities. He put it in there partially to tease me, and I think he would agree with my evaluation. Ezra Wax

And third, all of these facts have rebuttals, and just sticking in facts in an article I wrote and then expecting me to do all the work to rebut every point is unfair. If you are going to put in facts that weren't there, then put in both sides of the story.

Excuse me, but I believe that this is EXACTLY what I did. I do not thik I removed any of the facts you included. I assumed that you put in facts that represent one side of the story, and that Danny's facts represented the other side of the story. Thus, but neither cutting what you wrote, nor what Danny wrote -- voila! -- both sides of the story. If you want to add other facts (here or in the linked bio) by all means do so; if they are facts I will not cut them. My only question is, did you originally cut these because they are not facts? If they are facts, we will never achieve "both sides of the story" by cutting them! Slrubenstein

The article as it was, was neutral, unless you consider a neutral description of the mussar movement non-neutral. It could use more facts, and I don't deny it, but like any initial article, it takes time to write.Ezra Wax

I will tomorrow. I want to check my sources first. It's been a while since I touched this stuff. There is a lot more to add too, but the truth is, I so wanna stay away from this kind of material. I do it at work all day and Wikipedia is chance to pursue my other, non-professional interests. Or at least it I wish it was ... Danny

What is Mussar?[edit]

Um, why do we have an entry on Mussar that contains no information at all on what Mussar actually is? It looks like Ezra Wax is just creating entry after entry to fill Wikipedia with his personal bias, irregardless of the fact that much of what is writes is useless, biased, racist or outright false. This is really getting out of hand. RK


I put back one sentence Danny deleted, but the following links are questionable, because (A) they aren't in English & (B) they link to non-existent articles.

Ezra, try to bear in mind that Wikipedia's target audience is English speakers. A few foreign-language terms are okay, like Torah, because they have became part of the English language. --Ed Poor

I did not finish the article, it was a stub, so in answer to your criticism, I will provide more information about the books.
The addition of non-Orthodox points of view in this article is unacceptable. Orthodox Judaism denies the validity of non-Orthodox forms of Judaism as such, presentation of its views as valid without clearly pointing out that they are not accepted is not neutral. As the article was neutral, as it was although deficient in other ways, any additional information must be added from a neutral point of view. As such, I will delete such information, as I do not consider it my responsibility to refute non-neutral information added to an article that I wrote. Ezra Wax

Actually, Ed, didn't mean to erase that sentence, but it is wrong. I have the sources here now, and will rewrite the article tonite. Danny

It's easy to delete text accidentally, especially when working quickly. :-) --Ed Poor

Get this straight, Ezra Wax: you cannot claim simultaneously that the non-Orthodox view is not neutral, and the Orthodox view is neutral. You have to distinguish between facts and interpretations of facts. Facts are facts no matter what you personally think of them. It is also a fact that non-Orthodox Jews have certain interpretations of some facts, and you are right to say that such inerpretations must be identified as such. But it is also a fact that Orthodox Jews have certain interpretations of facts, and those interpretations must be identified as such as well. A good encyclopedia article will present a variety of views (identifying them and contextualizing them adequately). Do not delete a view just because you disagree with it. Do not think that just because a view is your own, that is enough to render it neutral. Slrubenstein

I do not give credence to the other views, and do not consider it my duty to provide them. In any case, I do not know what they are. As such, anybody wanting to add them fairly, is welcome. Ezra Wax

"Fair enough" -- as long as we agree that adding them "fairly" does not mean that they have to be your views, and only that they be properly contextualized and referenced. But the same goes for you: present your views fairly, meaning properly cited and referenced. Slrubenstein

I will admit that my views could use proper citation, but as I am writing what I know from memory, I do not always have a proper source handy. Upon request for a citation, I can do research to find a source. If the information is controversial, I would agree that it be moved to the talk page until a proper source is found. Ezra Wax

sounds good, Slrubenstein

Various points of view[edit]

A recent vandal on Wikipedia, Ezra Wax, just wrote this shocking admission that he intends to prevent every person in the world from working on Wikipedia articles of his choice, unless they are in accord with his personal Ultra-Orthodox views. This is VANDALISM by every definition of Wikipedia use, and I implore the moderators to stop allowing him to abuse this community. RK Ezra Wax writes : "The addition of non-Orthodox points of view in this article is unacceptable. Orthodox Judaism denies the validity of non-Orthodox forms of Judaism as such, presentation of its views as valid without clearly pointing out that they are not accepted is not neutral. As the article was neutral, as it was although deficient in other ways, any additional information must be added from a neutral point of view. As such, I will delete such information, as I do not consider it my responsibility to refute non-neutral information added to an article that I wrot"

Oh, get off the stage, RK. Just recast Ezra's views as Ultra-Orthodox Jews believe X. :-) --Ed Poor
And the other POV should be labeled Ultra-UnOrthodox Jews believe Y. :-) --StevenSchulman
Ed, I understand what you are saying but you miss the problem. Slr, Danny and I don't have a problem with presenting Ultra-Orthodox views; that has never been the issue. The issue is that Ezra Wax has proclaimed that articles he works on are his own property, and that he will forbid anyone from working on them, unless he judges that their writings are in accord with his own religious views. So the problem is not about finding a way for us to agree on presenting different points of view. Rather it is about an outright admission that he will refuse to work with the Wikipedia community at all. This, as far as I can judge, is vandalism. In contrast, take a look at the new article I just wrote on this subject. You will see that there are not polemics against any denomination of Judaism, or of any other faith. RK

Hey, RK. EJ, huh? Not bad. Couple of points: the Judaica spells musar with one s, which you followed, but the article title has two. Also, I am thinking that the name of the article should be Mussar Movement. Also, perhaps some of the people who were against the movement and why, the different schools (Slobodka and Nowordok), and the proper names of the towns in English. Whaddya say? Danny

Good points all; I fully agree. RK

"He founded a Kollel in Kovno." What's a Kollel? -phma

Good questions! Short answer is now given in the text, and a link to a new article has been made.

List of yeshivot[edit]

What is the basis for the list of yeshivot. Volozhin was around long before mussar. Danny

I found this list of yeshivot in an article in the Encyclopaedia Judaica; the article is unclear if a separate Yeshiva was founded there in addition to the original Yeshiva, or if a Musar disciple brought his teachings to the already extant yeshiva. RK

Almost definitely the latter. I would check for the other yeshivot as well, particularly Slobodka. Danny

Slabodka & Kollel of Kovno[edit]

I live in Kovno where famed Slabodka Yeshiva & Kovno kollel was. I am especially interested in history of jewish/judaism studies, yeshivas and rebbais in Lita (Lithuania) and Kovno, Slabodka Yeshiva first of all. And Mussar, Gaon mi Vilno Elijah ben Solomon etc too, of course.

Who do you say was founder of Kovno kollel? How do you spell him? --Fivetrees 03:20, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Opposition to Mussar[edit]

Shouldn't there be something about the Misnagdic oppostion to Mussar, as well as Mussar's relationship to haskala and chassidus...and how it changed the dynamic of the Misnaged vs. Chassid vs. maskil complex? After all, why were the Netziv, the Soloveitchiks, and all the Volozhin and Brisk personalities so adamantly opposed to it?

Contemporary Mussar?[edit]

The article does not really indicate that the Mussar continues as a living movement. It might be well to indicate that there are living teachers, new developments, and expanding interest. Kwork 15:42, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

A section of the article briefly discusses the modern Mussar movement but the introduction and the scant information do not really reflect the breadth of the movement in the 21st century. It has broken out of the Orthodox tradition and is even practiced by many groups of non-Jews. See Alan Morinis in particular for more information. would be a possible starting point. Information about women who have been important in shaping Mussar since the movement's inception would also be great, although I appreciate this is not easy to find. More about what practitioners actually do could be appropriate. The basic how-to of Mussar and its core values can be briefly summarized and there are many online descriptions of it. I am sorry I do not have time to take this on myself; please consider this a wish list. Props to the people who have been working on the page. Many thanks. Sainge.spin (talk) 05:51, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Source of the word[edit]

The definition of Mussar is described as deriving from "tradition", presumably a corruption of "Mesorah". Is there a source for this? It seems strange, as the word "Mussar" itself is a Hebrew word meaning "instruction" or "discipline". The word in found in many places in Mishlei (Proverbs), itself a work of Mussar.-- (talk) 01:33, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

The person should learn Hebrew. Mesorah and Mussar have different roots. The mem is part of the root in the former and the first letter of the latter root is yod.--Jayrav (talk) 04:54, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I see you (or someone) edited the article based on my suggestion. I take that as a compliment. But are we breaking the sourcing rules?(Admittedly the sourcing rules don't work very well for Jewish topics. Major newspapers, etc. are often inaccurate if not malicious.) Maybe we should have just taken it out altogether? Michael Zvi Krumbein -- (talk) 01:55, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Ben Franklin[edit]

Anyone who reads chapter 9 of the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin entitled PLAN FOR ATTAINING MORAL PERFECTION will immediately see the philosophical roots of Cheshbon HaNefesh. Which came first, I leave to the historians. Phil_burnstein (talk) 04:38, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed. Franklin came first. It also says that the author of Cheshbon HaNefesh, M. M. Levin urged that secular studies, especially the sciences, be added to Torah learning. The language of instruction, he believed, should be Polish, and that the Bible should be taught with the aid of a Polish translation. Phil_burnstein (talk) 05:45, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Restore Mussar literature fork to this article[edit]

Recently a section on Mussar literature was forked from this article into Mussar literature. Most of its content are still in this article, and neither article is particularly large - together they would still be one relatively small article. I propose (for the reader's benefit) restoring that article to this one, so that all the information we have on the topic is in one convenient place. If and when either article/section grows large enough (say, over 60k), we can create a sub-article at that time. Jayjg (talk) 16:29, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

No problem here. Debresser (talk) 17:03, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I suggested setting up the additional article because these are really two distinct things. Much of "Musar literature" was not of interest to the Musar movement, and is a genre of Jewish literature that was also produced by opponents of the Musar movement. I would love to expand the article on Musar literature when I have time, and am sure that other people could easily help to expand it. Moreh405 (talk) 17:16, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
There's no indication they are different things though, and no reason why it all can't be discussed here. Jayjg (talk) 18:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
And if there's concern about overlap, I'd suggest removing the section on Musar literature from this page, and instead just making mention of the literature that the Musar movement used throughout the rest of the article. Moreh405 (talk) 17:20, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
The issue is that you have one small article, and you're trying to take a significant part of that article out and create a second small article with it. There's no reason for doing so; everything can be discussed in this article. If the Mussar literature section ever becomes really large, it can be put into its own article, but there's no indication is has been or ever will be that large. Jayjg (talk) 18:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Why would this "significant section" of the Musar Movement article belong in the Musar movement article, though? It's just a list of some of the books that people in the Musar movement studied, but they did not study many of the books listed in the "Musar Literature" article. Moreh405 (talk) 19:25, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Just added images and "Jews and Judaism" sidebar:Texts to Mussar literature page. Please keep that and Mussar movement as separate pages! I hope adding the sidebar indicates due gravitas to the whole history of Mussar texts as topic in its own right. Mussar movement is one particular form of Mussar, especially as it involved sociological factors in 19th century Yeshivah world etc. The page Mussar literature allows broad coverage of all historical approaches and forms of Mussar literature: Philosophical, Kabbalistic, Haskalah etc. New Link: "Popular Kabbalistic Mussar" added in History:Rennaisance section of Template:Kabbalah, indicates, for instance, that Kabbalistic-Mussar works of the 16-17th centuries constitute a special historical form in Jewish mystical development. Eg. Moshe Idel shows that Hasidism incorporated Cordoveran Kabbalah especially through this popularising Mussar form. A link there to a proposed all-inclusive, amalgamated Mussar page would, I think, be rather anacronistic! - Mixing broad coverage with detailed focus, and textual theoretical forms with sociological movement. Separate pages much better! Mussar literature page, much awaited, is great as it is. April8 (talk) 01:08, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I also think 2 different articles is best. Musarist (talk) 23:54, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

2 separate pages needed[edit]

I notice that the proposed merger of Musar literature and Musar movement discussion hatnote is still there. I'll have to explain more fully why it's a bad idea - the two pages need to be kept separate and intact as they are now. Two pages are needed:
  1. Musar literature covering the whole breadth of the literature as a genre, much wider than just the classic texts also championed in the Musar movement. This page can describe the nature and range of the genre and its relationship to Rabbinic literature, Jewish philosophy, and Kabbalah etc.
  2. Musar movement, a particular sociological movement that organised study of Musar literature as an unprecedented social movement. This describes a social movement, not a genre.
Comparison with other modern Jewish social movements shows why the two pages should not be merged (and conflated):
  • Hasidic Judaism should not be merged into the Kabbalah page - the first describes a social movement, the second a genre/theology. Hasidic thought page should not be merged with Kabbalah either, as its approach is different.
  • Haskalah (modern social movement) should not be merged with Jewish philosophy (genre/theology), even though it represented a non-Orthodox rationalisation of Judaism.
  • Zionism (modern social/political movement) should not be merged with Land of Israel (concept article).
  • Jewish studies (modern social/academic movement in Universities) should not be merged with Judaism (concept article).
Etc. Keep historical genre Musar literature and social movement Musar movement as 2 quite separate pages! The page Musar literature is great, much needed, and was long overdue, in its present stand alone form now. It allows comparison with the other forms of Judaic literature: Rabbinic literature, Jewish philosophy, Kabbalah etc. Mangling the sociological Musar movement into the one article would conflate 2 separate, quite different things. Time to remove the bad-idea "merger" hatnote. April8 (talk) 00:50, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Musar or Mussar[edit]

Where is the WP discussion and the broad consensus for changing the long-standing name for Mussar with 2 ss's, as it is most commonly transliterated and spelled in English, to Musar with 1 s, as one user here seems to think it should be spelled? IZAK (talk) 09:04, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Both spellings are common, so I don't think that this is so easy to decide, but I don't think that Mussar is the more common transliteration, as you suggest. I get about twice as many hits on Google for "Musar movement" (in quotation marks) as "Mussar movement," and more hits for "Musar movement" in Google Scholar as well. The spelling with "s" is favored by all other encyclopedias as far as I can tell, including the Encyclopedia Judaica and the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Moreh405 (talk) 20:16, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Moreh: Why is there no record on any discussion about this on this talk page? Could you point me to the discussion on WP where this was debated. In the USA, the spelling "mussar" is more common as used by all works published by ArtScroll, the works of Rabbis Berel Wein, Avigdor Miller and most English language Orthodox news publications. Even the vast majority of links via the redirects to this spell it as "mussar" and the changes by Debresser were recent. A fuller discussion needs to be held and more clarification as proof of real consensus. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 01:43, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
The discussion was on Talk:Musar literature. Debresser (talk) 17:53, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Reeeaaaly? See my responses below. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 03:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes really. What's your problem? That you weren't invited? Debresser (talk) 07:02, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Nope. I have enough editing to do. It's that you "invited" NO ONE, not even at WP:TALKJUDAISM, a pretty good place for a "welcome sign" as you well know, when over 50 excellent editors had been working on this article for over 8 years and you came along and just decided to unlawfully exercise WP:OWNERSHIP over it. Don't you have enough topics in the super-category Category:Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidism to work on and edit that you yet feel the constant urge to get involved in topics that have nothing to do with your forte and the way you edit and make changes and make comments that's automatically bound to cause other editors to get upset, rocking the foundations of WP:CONSENSUS and violating WP:CIVIL if anyone questions you? Since when do any Hasidim and Hasidism care about Mussar in any way shape size or form??? When last did you or Chabad editors accept the meddling of any non-Chabad editors in purely Chabad topics without resorting to all-out WP:WAR and thereby scaring everyone off, as editors tire of your wearisome aggressive (see, it has two "ss's") antics. How about if I changed the main Chabad article to the more English grammatically correct name Khabad (change "ch" to "kh") as in Halakha or Tanakh? How far would I get with trying such grammatically correct hocus pocus "changes" that serve absolutely no purpose the way you do and think that no one notices and that you can get away with it? Wake up and smell the coffee. IZAK (talk) 08:05, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
This is about spelling. What has Chabad to do with anything. I hope everybody sees this user is obsessed with something. Debresser (talk) 08:20, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Stop the insults about "obsessions", I was giving an example to illustrate a point. Read the whole paragraph in context. IZAK (talk) 08:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
No, you stop being obsessed about Chabad, in any and every context whatsoever, per WP:NPA and WP:Poisoning the well (which doesn't exist, but should be written especially for you. In the mean time you can do a search, and see, that it is a often used argument in Wikipedia.)! Debresser (talk) 06:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Use of the double middle letters in transliterated Hebrew words[edit]

Doubling of the middle letter in words mostly transliterated from Hebrew, or as used in Yiddish is very common and the norm and the rule in English-speaking Torah scholarly circles, just look at the way articles have been written by such editors over the past ten years. Such as:

  1. Passover, and not Pasover
  2. Mussaf, and not Musaf
  3. Sukkot, and not Sukot
  4. Sukkah, and not Sukah
  5. Shabbat, and not Shabat
  6. Hanukkah, and not Hanukah
  7. Yom Kippur, and not Yom Kipur
  8. Tannaim, and not Tanaim
  9. Kapparot, and not Kaparot
  10. Haggadah, and not Hagadah
  11. Challah, and Chalah
  12. Kiddush, and not Kidush
  13. Hoshana Rabbah, and not Hoshana Rabah
  14. Tefillin, and not Tefilin
  15. Five Megillot, and not Five Megilot
  16. Tikkun Chatzot, and not Tikun Chatzot
  17. Chillul Hashem, and not Chilul Hashem
  18. Chuppah, and not Chupah
  19. Illui, and not Ilui
  20. Ibbur, and not Ibur
  21. Kippah, and not Kipah
  22. Kollel, and not Kolel
  23. Maggid, and not Magid
  24. Tiqqun soferim, and not Tiqun soferim
  25. Hannah, and not Hanah
  26. Aggadah, and not Agadah
  27. Devarim Zutta, and not Devarim Zuta
  28. Midrash Iyyob, and not Midrash Iyob
  29. Midrash Tehillim, and not Midrash Tehilim
  30. Hillel, and not Hilel
  31. Shammai, and not Shamai...

etc, etc, etc, the point being that in spite of possible redirects from other versions, it's very clear that editors who write from a strongly traditional Torah education, do include so-called "double-letters" into many nouns and names, and that is the same case here, and that's why "Mussar" that for many long years this article was correctly predominantly spelled with two "ss's" and not one. While the spelling with one "s" seems to be the preferred format of the secular non-traditional sources cited above such as YIVO and the Encyclopedia Judaica, both of which have no direct links to the Mussar Movement which was a part of what would be called today the non-Hasidic Lithuanian yeshiva world of Eastern Europe. While Hasidim rejected the Mussar Movement in Europe because they had their own teachings of Chasidus instead. The almost exclusively Lithuanian Jewish mussar rabbis who are the founders and heroes of the complex Mussar Movement are not the heroes of the Chasidic world and vice versa, so it is blatantly absurd that an open, self-admitted and confirmed pro-Chabad rabbi and POV warrior with a WP:COI (Debresser, who openly admits "I definitely have a POV towards Chabad, since I am a Chabad rabbi" and "I have been an adherent of Chabad only for the last 19 years, and a rabbi for only 9 of them", and more similar to this) is now deciding how this movement should be defined and spelled on WP. Thanks for your understanding, IZAK (talk) 09:38, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi IZAK - Thanks for all these thoughts. There's a big difference between all the examples that you cite and the case in question. In all of those examples, there is a dagesh in the middle Hebrew letter, which means that the letter should be doubled. There is no dagesh in the middle letter (samech) in the word "Musar." That's why so many scholars spell it as "Musar" rather than "Mussar." I think that this is what Debresser is interested in pointing out. I don't think that he's being a "POV warrior" here. At any rate, I think that we can all agree that both spellings of Musar are very much in use; the question is whether to defer to the spelling favored by outside observers or the spelling favored by adherents of the movement itself. My sense is that Wikipedia is itself a sort of "outside observer" encyclopedia, which should favor the common (and grammatically standard) spelling over the "insider" spelling. What do you think? Moreh405 (talk) 14:49, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
My point precisely. In this case there is no dagesh, so there should be only one "s". I just also happen to be a ba'al dikduk. :) Debresser (talk) 17:55, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi Moreh: Firstly, Wikipedia is neither an "insider" nor an "outsider" as it aims to convey the subject from all serious angles. Secondly, the many real Torah scholars in the modern English-speaking and publishing world and themselves genuine adherents of mussar have almost universally spelled the word as "mussar" and not as "musar". Thirdly, the scholars who have spelled it as "mussar" also are as aware as you are of a "dagesh" or not, yet they have seen fit to stick with "mussar". Fourthly, How about the spelling of Simcha Zissel Ziv or Luzzatto?, and even names that are spelled in English that way by convention, regardless of dikduk. Fifthly, it is absurd to accept, that, as Debresser points out, the so-called "discussion" to change the name was held at Talk:Musar literature#Spelling where basically only you and Debresser and one other user had a nice chat but that does not constitute any sort of broad "consensus" when one considers, by looking at this article's history from when this article was created in 1 November 2002 UNTIL Debresser's arrival and change almost EIGHT YEARS LATER on 24 August 2010, when no one questioned the spelling and that is a monumental REAL consensus over 8 years of OVER 50, yes FIFTY editors (all with user names, the anonymous ones excluded) who worked, added and debated this article over eight long years and who never thought it should be spelled with one "s". Sixthly, yet along comes Debresser a couple of weeks ago, has a very brief chat with two users on some other page, does not notify any past users or other mussar-related talk pages such as this one and others who may have a serious interest in this article, and does not even bother to notify WP:TALKJUDAISM, and presto, simply because no one was around that day, the article is renamed and the heck with what over serious 50 editors held. Seventhly, this episode is an example of what "consensus" is NOT! because when a long-standing article has been edited over many years by dozens of editors, many very wise and knowledgeable who know about the finer points of dikduk too, none of whom are informed, and not even a notice was placed on THIS page to indicate any change was coming, and now to be "told" in demeaning and insulting language that according to Drebresser it is "my way or the highway" as he runs to admins (see: User talk:Dougweller#How to proceed?) when I revert the article to its vintage eight year old name and he then blurts out extreme complaints against me that it is "me" that is somehow in the "wrong" for wishing to abide by the long-time will and true WP:CONSENSUS of all the past OVER 50 editors who have seen fit to go with "mussar" and not make any changes, something is terribly wrong with this scenario, that only a blind man could miss. Finally, in light of the above, I move that the changes be put to wider discussion, that more editors who had a hand in this article over the years be sought out for their input, and that any future hatchet jobs like this by Debresser be stopped. Thanks for your understanding, IZAK (talk) 03:39, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Another very simple but very logical reason that Mussar should be spelled with two "ss's" in modern English is that in modern English pronunciation (i.e. English as it is commonly correctly spoken today), the general rule is that when a single "s" is in the middle, or end of a word, and is often followed by a vowel, or by nothing, or even by any letter, then it almost always must be pronounced as a "z" sound and in order to avoid that when a purely "s" sound is required, two "ss"s" (or the "sc") are often deployed. Thus, "music" is pronounced as "mewzik"; "Isaac" is "Izik"; "pains" is "painz"; "chains" is "chainz"; "cause" is "cauze"; "treasure" is "treazure", "has" is "haz", and so on, while the double "ss" almost always guides the reader to pronounce the "s" as an "s" and not a "z", for example, "massive"; "passive"; "bassoon"; "assemble"; "association"; "lassitude"; etc etc. Therefore, in modern day English usage it is more correct to use "Mussar" as that conveys the correct sound for the "ss's" because a single "s" would make it sound like "Muzar" or "Moozar" -- which actually and ironically means "STRANGE" or even "UGLY" in modern-day vernacular Hebrew, which is the wrong impression! While in past centuries, when modern Hebrew was not around, and the YIVO and Encyclopdia Judaica old-fashioned crowd was around they could get away with using one "s" for "Musar" because they had an academic context for the word, while this Wikipedia article is trying to do much more than that by getting into what Mussar is all about in modern times, hence the use and deference to modern-day English usage. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 06:08, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

That sounds like an odd argument to me. The nearest word in English spelling is 'hussar', which is pronounced like—hoozar! --Redaktor (talk) 13:19, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Redaktor: Could you elaborate please. You make one observation, but it's wrong. There is no "z" sound in "mussar" according to anyone. If anything there is an "sh" sound produced by some of the old-time way of Yiddish speaking pronunciation making it sound like "Moosher" but no "z" anywhere in sight or in sound. IZAK (talk) 08:06, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like an odd argument to me as well. I think that the way that people pronounce "Musar" is actually relatively close to the way it's pronounced in conventional modern Hebrew, whereas the way people pronounce "Mussar" reflects the way that it's often pronounced in Ashkenazi Hebrew/Yiddish. Moreh405 (talk) 15:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Moreh: Could you be more specific please. Ok, so then it is a pure "s" sound, vocally, so that when it's written it's with a double "ss" that ensures that, like in "passage"; "massage"; "dressing"; "Simcha Zissel Ziv"; etc etc. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 08:06, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there's much danger of people pronouncing the "s" like a "z" or like anything else for that matter. If the fear is really a fear of mispronunciation, can't we add two sound files with the two common pronunciations of the word? Moreh405 (talk) 14:32, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • If we are bringing arguments here from "huzar"... It must be "musar", otherwise it will be pronounced too short, like "hussle", while it should be a full sound like the "o"'s in "to do". Debresser (talk) 05:59, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposed name Mussar vs Musar[edit]

Spelling as Mussar:

  • Support, because this was the accepted spelling of the article for about eight years as explained above. IZAK (talk) 03:39, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
This is a non-argument. You were 15 years old for a whole year, and yet you never complained when you turned 16 one day. :) Anyway, it's never to late to do the right thing. Debresser (talk) 06:59, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Again with the insults. Stop it. IZAK (talk) 07:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Anybody see an insult here? Debresser (talk) 08:21, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Calling a fellow-editor "15 years old" and implying that the other 50 who had edited this article for 8 years were equal to a "15 year old" is pretty insulting, in anyone's books. If you don't understand the nuances of the English language you should desist from editing the English WP and return to your native Dutch WP, per your user profiles and user boxes. IZAK (talk) 08:57, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Where did I say you are now 15 years old. You seem to have a problem with the English language yourself. Like in your advise for me to "return" to the Dutch WP, while the first WP I edited (and basically the only one) isthe English WP. BTW, that was a low personal attack if any. Debresser (talk) 13:29, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
"You were 15 years old for a whole year"... what does that mean in English? IZAK (talk) 13:40, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
That 15 years after you were born, you were 15 years of age, for a whole year. What did you think it meant in English? Debresser (talk) 20:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Please stop being silly, it does not become you. Thank you. IZAK (talk) 09:29, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
When you misunderstand me, I am silly? This is just another of your insults. Please desist. Debresser (talk) 17:26, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Poor little misunderstood Debresser, why not shed a few more manufactured "tears" of self-righteousness as you create your umpteenth red herring coupled with yet another insult thrown my way, that I cannot grasp your "supreme smartness" that I "misunderstand" you (joke of the decade, by the way, because I have your number). Why can't you stick to the point of DISCUSSIONS and cut out the dramatics, playing the "victim". I can just see what's going on in your mind, you want to cook up a purely cockamamie excuse run to ANI rather than face serious intellectual discussions, so you make insults by the fistful (I've proven your violations over and over again), when anyone objects and calls your bluff, you claim they are "misunderstanding" you, and then when they try to be reasonable, you create another diversion on top of that, usually entwined with yet another insult, to keep the ball rolling. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. IZAK (talk) 05:45, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support --Yoavd (talk) 12:51, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Mussar is the accepted spelling among English-speaking people who actually study and implement the Mussar system in their lives, i.e. the Jewish Orthodox community. Nahum (talk) 16:27, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but this spelling is not "the accepted spelling" in centrist Orthodoxy. There are approximately the same number of hits for "musar" as for "mussar" on the websites of the Orthodox Union (130:134) and Rabbinical Council of America (7:5). Moreh405 (talk) 17:39, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
To Moreh: Aha, that is precisely the point, that the Mussar movement has zip and zero to do with Centrist Orthodoxy aka Torah Umadda to which it redirects, yet you have no problem trying to impose a "Centrist Orthodox" usage upon what is a Haredi Judaism term and tradition, by invoking secular sources. Don't you see the absurdity of that? Don't you know that the leading thinker of Centrist Orthodoxy was Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik who was a scion of the Brisk tradition and Soloveitchik dynasty, and both the Haredi branch in Israel and the Modern Orthodox branch in America, was and still is 1,000% OPPOSED to the creation, study and implementation of what is known as the classical Mussar Movement, yet you blithely come forth and demand that the OPPONENTS of Mussar be the ones to decide how it's spelled and known. Now how illogical and irrational is that. IZAK (talk) 08:26, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Both centrist Orthodoxy and the Haredi world have plenty of people who support and plenty of people who oppose the Musar movement. Most of the leading thinkers of the Haredi world were strongly opposed to the Musar movement as well--and many of them spell it as "Mussar"! The point is that the Jewish world is pretty split on this spelling. Ravyehoshuadavid (talk) 14:07, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
If, as you say, "the Jewish world is pretty split on this spelling" then this article's original name with the two "ss's" should not have been tampered with and changed given that it had been spelled as "Mussar" for many long years. That is why when proposing a change to something that "the Jewish world is pretty split on" you don't make hasty moves to change the names of key articles on a whim if there has been a set name for years during which time dozens of contributing editors felt there was no problem (if there was, they would have raised the problem on the talk page which they never did, until now, a little late in the day), and that is why I am trying to create at least a semblance of fairness and due process that was not there when the recent changes were made. IZAK (talk) 09:45, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Hillel Goldberg is a good example of an RCA rabbi who is connected to the Musar movement. It looks like he spells the word as "Musar" except when his books are published by Artscroll. Artscroll, as you pointed out, favors the two "s" spelling. Ktav, on the other hand, seems to favor one "s." Moreh405 (talk) 14:32, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Moreh: The relatively smallish Ktav is connected with the Modern Orthodox world. Hillel Goldberg is a writer, he is more "modern' in his outlook. He is not the final authority by any means. It's not just ArtScroll (who happen to be the biggest name in English language Orthodox publishing today) but virtually any Haredi book, newspaper, magazine and newsletter written in English among the vast majority of non-Hasidic Haredi Jews that spells the word as "Mussar", and this cannot be brushed off. And of course, the Hasidic world and certainly Chabad do not recognize the movement and do not care since they have their own teachings of "Chasidus" to go by. So it's very troubling that an avowed Chabad POV editor would lead the charge to change the balance for such a topic. Very troubling indeed. IZAK (talk) 09:45, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, per IZAK's extensive list above of double-s Hebrew words. Yes, I'm aware of the dagesh factor, but let's face it, most Jews aren't. As an editor in the real world, I prefer Mussar for its easily-identifiable pronunciation, unlike Musar which looks Arabic. Let's write "also spelled Musar" in the lead and move on to fix the myriads of Judaic articles that really need help. Yoninah (talk) 11:17, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Good point. This article that we're discussing is rated "C-Class," and would probably be better off if it were improved with some of the energy that we're using to discuss how to spell it... Moreh405 (talk) 14:55, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
It is a very good point, but it is easier said than done. There was previously a Wikipedia:Judaism Collaboration of the Week (see more defunct Judaic projects at Wikipedia:WikiProject Judaism#Inactive projects) that went belly-up over the years. But it's also a loaded point because this discussion is a good example of how changes should NOT be made. You cannot have one or two editors pounce on an article that has been around for many long years, that's been edited by dozens of good editors, and make serious changes without seeking very broad WP:CONSENSUS at least from other active Judaic editors. Many old-time quality editors are not active now, but I have the privilege of being one of the few "institutional memories" still actively editing after almost eight years, and out of respect for all the excellent editors who preceded us and the need to consider how all articles were originally started, then built up, edited and improved, there cannot now be a "posse" of one or two self-appointed editors, some with serious proven POV problems and biases towards Chabad for example, who pounce on articles on a whim and make up "rules" on the spot about how to change them. Therefore there needs to be correct due process and long serious discussions if serious changes to article names and content are involved. At least, so that current active editors should be included in what's currently going on, there MUST be notifications placed at WP:TALKJUDAISM or preferably also at still active editors talk pages who worked on the articles, (one reason that WP provides to every user "history pages" i.e. by clicking on "View history" of each page edited on WP you can at a glance see who worked on this article, hence see Revision history of Musar movement, starting from 1 November 2002 to the present) about desired changes and requests for working together on articles, and to AVOID THE IMPRESSION OF BEING SNEAKY !!!! That is why WP:CONSENSUS is the key to successful articles, and it sounds easier than it is to attain, as you can see from this discussion!!! That is the best we can hope for because editors tend to be too busy and each has there own goals to be united for very long on one article. For better or worse, article-building often comes out editorial disputes (and I do NOT mean WP:EDITWARRING by that) than from pure altruism. IZAK (talk) 10:13, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Musar looks like it should be pronounced muzar. Ezra Wax (talk) 19:51, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Spelling as Musar:

  • Support 1. More correct grammatically. 2. Also widespread use in English (mussar:musar = 2:1). Debresser (talk) 06:59, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
In whose English? Yours? Or the Orthodox world that is the home and studies and hosts Mussar. Not even in English where a double "ss" = a pure "s" and not a "z" sound. IZAK (talk) 07:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
This is not an Orthodox vs. non-Orthodox issue. There are plenty of Orthodox rabbis who use the spelling "Musar"; both spellings are accepted. On the web site of the Rabbinical Council of America, for example, there are seven hits for "musar" and five hits for "mussar."Moreh405 (talk) 16:08, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Since when is the Modern Orthodox RCA in any way connected with the Mussar movement? They abide by the ideology of Torah Umadda that is light years removed from the type of world meant by the Mussar movement. Like having the dentists tell the botanists, and vice versa, what to call "roots". IZAK (talk) 08:26, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
There are plenty of RCA members who are connected with the Musar movement. Ravyehoshuadavid (talk) 14:07, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Like who? IZAK (talk) 09:56, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
You can get a good sense by seeing all the material on Mus(s)ar on the website. It's a major topic there.Ravyehoshuadavid (talk) 00:28, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I think that your claim that only ultra-Orthodox Jews know how to spell the word properly is indefensible.Moreh405 (talk) 14:32, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
That's not what I am saying or meant. What I am saying is that it is not the way the word is spelled among those who are still the ongoing adherents and heirs of the very complex world Mussar. I know this is a blog I will point to, but probably one of the most famous ba'alei mussar in the post-Holocaust era was Rav Shlomo Wolbe, his family continues his teachings and they have a very serious blog with many of his Mussar teachings and the name of his yeshiva, and they all spell the word as Mussar on it. Take a look FYI: Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:56, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but you need to cite more reliable sources if you're trying to prove that Wolbe's family are the authentic and serious heirs of the Musar movement but Hillel Goldberg is not. I sense, though, that this conversation is going nowhere. Perhaps a third party can read through this discussion and give some direction here. That might be more productive than an argument about who is authentic and who's not. Moreh405 (talk) 16:07, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, as "Musar" is not only the proper Hebrew transliteration (according to all Hebrew transliteration systems), but it seems to be more widespread in English usage (based on google hits, removing hits for the wine by the same name, etc.), and as it is certainly more widespread in academic usage, and as "Musar" is the spelling used in all standard encyclopedias: Encyclopedia Judaica, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, the Encyclopædia Britannica, and the Jewish Encyclopedia. Moreh405 (talk) 15:42, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Hi Moreh: But what about the practitioners and adherents of the Mussar movement, don't they have any rights? And you do not make sense, because let's say, for example, in English and in all English sources the correct transliterated word in English is Koran, yet out of a correct recognition of what its adherents, devotees and worshipers call it, the Koran article redirects to Qur'an on WP. Similarly after much back and forth over the years, the name on WP for the Code of Jewish Law redirects to Shulchan Aruch, regardless of the more common secular usages of both Shulkhan Arukh or Code of Jewish Law which both redirect to the correct JEWISH name and accepted Jewish spelling of Shulchan Aruch. This has been an unresolved debate on WP since its inception, the clash between the way classical Judaism and Jews use terms and the way secular and non-Jewish sources use terms. IZAK (talk) 08:46, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
I would caution you against being so defensive about what "the correct" and "the accepted" way to transliterate is. There are multiple accepted transliterations, and multiple correct transliterations. Our goal here is to figure out which of the accepted transliterations is best. Ravyehoshuadavid (talk) 14:07, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
IZAK, I'm not talking about taking away anyone's rights -- just to weigh the claims (rights?) of academics against the claims of the group of "adherents, devotees, and worshippers" that you're talking about.Moreh405 (talk) 15:23, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Moreh" Just to point out to you, that Wikipedia is NOT just written by "academics" because it is an open encyclopedia open to anyone who wishes to and is able contribute to it while abiding by all its rules. Academics do not have automatic "veto rights" over other editors on Wikipedia, since Wikipedia welcomes and in fact relies on input from evidently educated experts in any and all fields, in our case it may be rabbis, laymen, professionals, college students, high school students, housewives etc etc, if they have the ability to write and marshal the facts they are co-equal editors and their opinions are as strong as any high and mighty academic. That is the beauty of an open encyclopedia. In addition, the reality and fact remains that among those who are the devotees and practitioners of Mussar, as well as historians and writers among them, who are disciples of Mussar and its teachings, they spell the word as "Mussar" when writing it in English. It does not matter that outside "experts" call it by a different name, the name it's English-speaking adherents call it in English is a huge consideration on Wikipedia, such as the example of Qur'an being used on Wikipedia, and not the "correct" English spelling of Koran that used in the English-speaking world, and this case is no different. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 09:29, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the Qur'an vs. Koran debate, the arguments there supported using the more academic translation (Qur'an), the better scholarly transliteration of the Arabic (Qur'an), and the more common spelling on Google (Qur'an). All three of these factors would support "musar" over "mussar." Moreh405 (talk) 15:20, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Which "scholars" support "Qur'an" over "Koran"? it is surely Arabic professors and Islamic clerics and pro-Islamist scholars and of course they favor their own version, and why not they are right, while in the West for hundreds of years virtually no one outside of those circles wrote it "Qur'an" that is more a reflection of modern-day political correctness. Ironically, you are preaching a different doctrine, that the scholars and proponents of "mussar" in the Torah world be ignored (unlike Islamic scholars who are respcted and feared) in favor of what secular and non-mussar academics have to say about how it must be spelled, thereby brushing aside what hundreds of thousands of English-speaking Torah Jews familiar with mussar writings, concepts and practice accept as the WP:Common name for Mussar. IZAK (talk) 10:07, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
There is no question that "Qur'an," just like "Musar," is the scholarly transliteration. See for instance Webster's II New College Dictionary, p. 617: "Often a more exact or scholarly transliteration, such as Qur'an, will coexist alongide a spelling that has been heavily Anglicized (Koran)." But I don't think there's any point in continuing to debate this with you; you seem very set in your conviction that the spelling of the word in question here should be determined by the small group of Haredi Jews whom you are convinced are the only authentic heirs of the Musar movement (and whom you claim to number in the hundreds of thousands!). Thanks for your efforts to discuss. Maybe we can try again some other time when we can have a more level-headed discussion. Moreh405 (talk) 16:07, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't have much to add, but would agree with the phrase quoted above: Musar is the "more exact or scholarly transliteration," while it seems to also be the more popular transliteration. Ravyehoshuadavid (talk) 16:25, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Related discussion: Bais Yaakov or Beis Yaakov[edit]


Thanks, IZAK (talk) 07:44, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Related discussion: Yisroel vs. Yisrael vs. Israel Salanter[edit]


. Your input would be appreciated. Thanks, Ravyehoshuadavid (talk) 02:13, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

New book[edit]

Sharing the Burden: Rabbi Simhah Zissel Ziv and the Path of Musar by Geoffrey D. Claussen, 2015, State University of New York Press Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 01:25, 24 November 2015 (UTC)