New Manual Charts Path to Becoming a Mensch, One Step at a Time

Are you too patient? Too trusting? Too kind?
How much is too much? How little is not enough?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – 9/9/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — While impatience, distrust and cruelty rank as character flaws, one can also veer too far in the other direction, becoming fatalistic, gullible and overly doting, caring for others but neglecting to take care of oneself, with dire results.

In his new book, The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions (Llewellyn $16.99), Mussar maven Greg Marcus creates a path to becoming a Mensch—or your own better self—without dieting, joining a gym or retreating to an ashram. Subtitled Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar, the 243-page book takes readers through a personal exploration of soul traits with daily techniques and exercises, including journaling, mantras and mindful observation.

In The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions, Marcus cites 13 personal characteristics he calls soul traits. Among them: patience, trust, loving-kindness, humility and awe. The goal is to create a more balanced life: working on one soul trait at a time. The book includes a Soul Trait Profile Quiz, so readers can evaluate their own spiritual curriculum. That quiz is also available at

“The goal is balance,” says Marcus, who calls himself a reformed workaholic who used to work 90-hour weeks in the biotech industry before he decided that his “priorities were upside down.” He began studying Mussar, a Jewish ethical tradition that has been around for over 1,000 years, although much of the Mussar literature has been lost in the Holocaust. He also began leading workshops that help participants focus on a single characteristic or soul trait for a one- or two-week period, meditating and writing about their experiences in a journal.

Marcus calls his approach “American Mussar,” adapting an age-old practice for 21st-century Americans who may be overworked, overstressed and out of balance. While the book is written for a Jewish audience, the principles work for everyone: believers and nonbelievers. There is no “God talk,” no Hebrew, except for the word “Mussar,” which means “ethics” or “correction.”

 “We all have what it takes to be a Mensch, a person of extraordinary character,” Marcus says. “What we lack is an instruction manual. Mussar provides the instruction, and The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions is the manual.” 

To buy a copy of The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions, click this link.

Those who purchase before 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 will be introduced to a study partner to share their Mussar journey. Having a study partner is a Jewish tradition going back thousands of years. “I’ve had three Mussar study partners, all very different people, and all relationships I treasure to this day,” Marcus said. “When you practice Mussar with someone, you really get to know them.”

To learn more about getting a Mussar study partner, go to

Greg Marcus is available for interviews, and can be reached at 650-703-6403 or

Greg Marcus, PhD is an innovative Mussar maven and the creator of American Mussar, a 21st century spiritual practice for an authentic and meaningful life. He is a graduate of The Mussar Institute’s facilitator training program, and has been practicing and teaching for five years. Greg offers guidance on how to lead a life of mindful harmony and spiritual integrity, drawing upon timeless Jewish teachings and contemporary wisdom alike. He received his doctorate from MIT, and worked for 10 years as a marketer in Silicon Valley. Visit him online at

Full News Story:

Distributed by Press Release Jet

Media Contact
Company Name:
Contact Person: Greg Marcus
Phone: 650-703-6403
Country: United States