Soul Construction: Shape Your Character Using 8 Steps from the Timeless Jewish Practice of Mussar

(7 customer reviews)


Soft-cover book by Ruchi Koval

Self-help fads come and go but the timeless Jewish practice of mussar, a strategy for ethical and spiritual character refinement, has been helping perceptive and purposeful people live fulfilling and happy lives for generations. After years of teaching mussar classes and workshops and marveling at the dramatic changes in participants’ lives, Ruchi Koval provides a roadmap for people of all faiths, filled with clear explanations and illustrative anecdotes guiding readers through eight practical and powerful steps to a better version of themselves.

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SKU: SOUL Category: Tag:

About the author:

Ruchi Koval is the co-founder and Associate Director of Congregation JFX, an innovative community in Cleveland, Ohio. She has been a Jewish educator for two decades, leading self-development groups for adults and teens, and mentoring educators around the world. Ruchi is a certified parenting coach, motivational speaker, musician, author, and mother. She is a Trip Leader for Momentum, inspiring hundreds of women on their journeys in Israel.

Excerpts below taken from an article in the Jewish Press reviewing the book:

“Koval defines mussar as “an ancient path toward spirituality, based on personal ethics and character development.” Mussar is the Jewish ethical tradition of self-improvement and moral conduct, the study of which was pioneered by Rav Yisrael Salanter in the nineteenth century. Koval, a seasoned Jewish educator based in Cleveland, Ohio, has made teaching mussar a central part of her educational approach. Soul Construction serves as a how-to guide for the practice of mussar, making the ideas accessible and interesting to the novice and expert alike.

The book is divided into eight chapters, each of which is dedicated to a different character trait. Including topics such as “favorable judgment” and “happiness,” Koval opted to focus on personal qualities that are most crucial to maintaining effective relationships. The purpose of mussar is to work on one’s own growth and not to attempt to fix others, but Koval’s thesis is that when a person changes for the better, they impact everyone in their orbit. The book explains the ways that the traits under discussion come up in daily life and gives practical advice on how to gradually improve one’s proficiency in them. The chapters build on one another, using ideas that were previously discussed, to shed light on related topics.”

Weight .47 lbs

7 reviews for Soul Construction: Shape Your Character Using 8 Steps from the Timeless Jewish Practice of Mussar

  1. Christina V. (verified owner)

    I just opened this book and only a few pages in but it has already begun the process of greatly transforming my heart and mind.

  2. Seyi K. (verified owner)

    Very educative and practical for improving one’s self and relationship with others . Highly recommended esp in this time where people choose emotion over common sense.

  3. Verified Amazon Customer

    A book you can act on.
    Ruchi Koval’s “”Soul Construction”” is another perfectly placed stone in the temple of those who want to actually DO something to improve their relationship with God and the people in their lives and what it specifically takes to get there . It appealed to my “learn as you do” approach to life.
    For the practice of Mussar (a Jewish spiritual practice that gives concrete instructions on how to live a meaningful and ethical life ) blossoms in her hands as she makes it familiar and endearing. She does this at her own expense at times as she uses anecdotes from her busy life as an educator, wife to a Rabbi , mother and neighbor. She celebrates our flaws and struggles as God sent and when we triumph, she’s there to urge us to go further. The inner walk is what matters to her.
    There are moments of pointed self-reflection that expose the roots of our disconnection but on its heels, there is laughter and joy and yes, the promise of gratitude, happiness and renewal.

    Albert Einstein said: “”If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.””

    This book makes us aware that we live in the midst of a miracle that finds its way to the mundane and can enrich it by thoughtful reflection and unselfish acts. Mussar is a system to make the miracle visible.
    If you are unfamiliar with Judaism the book will also serve as an introduction to the ancient Jewish wisdom from which the practice of Mussar emanated from.
    In the end this book is for everyone as all great books are. All are welcome at Ruchi’s table.

  4. Verified Amazon Customer

    This is a wonderful book to strengthen positive characteristics
    If you want to transform your personality and be more authentic this is a wonderful tool.

  5. Verified Amazon Customer

    Character improvement in an easy to read format
    Ruchi Koval delivers Mussar character development suggestions and teachings in an easy to read and very user friendly manner. The book is divided into discussion and enlightenment on how to better develop ourselves in 8 essential traits, buy it to learn more. I go back to it to review chapters as needed. It’s definitely a game changer

  6. Verified Amazon Customer

    Loved the examples that are easy to relate to. Loved how well structured the writing was, breaking down complex concepts without taking away from the beauty of Mussar. Aiming for an inspired life, I wanted to continue improving my middot (character traits) and put time aside every week to read a chapter. I found the book very helpful and can definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Jewish wisdom or simply in becoming the best version of yourself.

  7. Verified Amazon Customer

    Good read.
    I really enjoy all the character lifting this book holds. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

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