One of the most well-known verses in sefer Mishlei (the Biblical book of Proverbs) occurs in the very first chapter. Verse 1:8 famously tells us
שְׁמַ֣ע בְּ֭נִי מוּסַ֣ר אָבִ֑יךָ וְאַל־תִּ֝טֹּ֗שׁ תּוֹרַ֥ת אִמֶּֽךָ׃
Listen, my son, to the instruction of your father (mussar avicha) and do not neglect the teaching of your mother (Torat imecha).
With this in mind, the OU Women’s Initiative, in cooperation with OU Torah, launched Torat Imecha in January 2020. This new Nach Yomi program has taken the world by storm, featuring shiurim from Rabbanit Shani Taragin, Mrs. Michal Horowitz, Rebbetzin Rebecca Belizon, Mrs. Sara Malka (Poupko) Reichman, and OU Women’s Initiative director Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman, with more to come. (If you haven’t yet joined us, you absolutely should check it out!)
But the question then became: how can we capitalize build upon the success of this program? The answer was staring us in the face, since it’s in the same verse that inspired Torat Imecha in the first place. Accordingly, OU Torah now shamelessly proudly announces its newest endeavor, Mussar Avicha!
Of course, this presented us with something of a dilemma as OU Torah already features shiurim on classic works of mussar, including Mesillas Yesharim, Chovos HaLevavos, and Derech Hashem. So on what should Mussar Avicha focus?
This, too, became clear when we realized that the word “mussar” has more than one possible translation! We typically use it to describe moral instruction, the guidelines for living an ethical life. But here, we have chosen to follow the sense of “chastisement” or “reproof.”
The final piece of the puzzle was determining what kind of chastisement or reproof to include. This was the easiest – all we did was ask the fathers! They came back with such classics as:
“Close the door! Were you raised in a barn?”
“Turn down that thermostat – I’m not made of money!”
“Your curfew is 10:00. Not 10:30. Not 10:15.”
and many more! (Hear a sample “shiur” here!)
So if you love Torat Imecha, try Mussar Avicha – it gets its name from the same verse!
Mussar Avicha coming never from OU Torah. Not available online, nor by using the OU Torah app for iOS and Android. Happy Purim!