musar (MOO-sahr) listen
mussar (MU-sir) listen


  • n. A reproof, discipline, ethical training. 

  • n. A Jewish ethical movement that crystallized among non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews in Lithuania in the 19th century, led by Israel Salanter, focusing on character development.

Example Sentences

  • "Don't give me mussar!"

  • "The Mussar Institute advances the study and practice of Mussar, a Jewish path of character development and spiritual growth leading to awareness, wisdom, and transformation." (source)

  • "If he goes on driving your car like that, you'll have to give him some musar." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • TH מוסר musar (Proverbs/Mishlei 1:2 'moral conduct, discipline') > Y מוסר muser

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).

      Alternative Spellings

      mussar, musser, muser


  • In the 21st century, there has been renewed interest in the musar movement, not only among Orthodox Jews, but also in Renewal, Conservative, and Reform circles, as seen in and propelled by books by Alan Morinis and Ira Stone.

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