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Naturally, I would think to learn part I of Alei Shur first, but having read a few (ableit brief) online summaries, it almost seems like perhaps Part II is more relevant to someone who is not currently a yeshiva student. If anyone has learned Alei Shur, aleph and beit, I'd love to know if think that it's better to start with part aleph or bet?

Thanks!

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  • Chelek I is aimed at yeshiva bochurim. A large part of chelek II consists of schmussen given to avreichim in the Beis Ha'mussar.
    – pcoz
    Aug 11 at 3:01
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Ultimately it boils down to what subject matter you find most interesting.

The first cheilek is largely instructive in how best to achieve self growth whilst the second cheiliek goes into more detail into specific areas.

To spell it out further, albeit not completely...

The first cheilek is split into four she'arim (gates). The first provides a good overview into everyday ruchniyus (spirituality) exploring concepts such as the learning of gemara, the power of the chevrah and yomim tovim to name a few. The second sha'ar explores a combination of how to succeed in Torah study (with a specific focus on Mussar) and particular middos (attributes) with a strong focus on Emunah (faith). The third gate looks at individualised avodas Hashem (service of G-d) and the application of different knowledge bases. Finally, the last gate focuses less on the individual side and more on the klal / the impact on the many. Thus it looks at concepts such as chinuch, klal yisroel, hashgocho (Divine providence) etc.

The second cheilek is double the size of the first with the areas of study perhaps less broad. The first sha'ar is split into two - the framework of Man (i.e. what element comprises a human incl. free choice, the two inclinations, the heart etc.) and the framework of Torah (incl. fostering a love of Torah, the secrets of Torah, the sense of fear one should have for it etc.) The second sha'ar is an in-depth analysis of Mussar with the first part dedicated to how best to learn it and the second half the different areas one can work on. The third gate looks at fundamentals including chinuch, tefillah, Shabbos and Yomim Tovim. The final gate is a thorough examination of four main topics, namely; fear, truth, bitachon and life.

I hope that helps!

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  • Wow, that's really helpful. That was by far the best summary I've read about Alei Shur. I really appreciate you!
    – refaelm
    Jul 7 at 15:56
  • Thanks that's really kind of you to say. If you believes this answers your question feel free to hit the checkmark :-)
    – Dov
    Jul 7 at 16:54
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    Much of volume II is best performed, not studied. I've run ve'adim to go through the one's in AS vol II for a couple of decades now. In the days of Zoom, you can consider that an offer -- if you find three or more friends equally interested. Jul 8 at 12:22
  • Thanks Micha. I'll start with volume I and then keep your info handy when I begin volume II since learning it in a group sounds very impactful.
    – refaelm
    Jul 8 at 15:32
  • @raphaelm, not just "learn", "do". The second sha'ar, most of the volume,m is arranged as ve'adim, you will see as you get there, an intro to the topic, an exercise. Next and Va'ad and the ones after that until the end of the topic, will each be be a quick thought and another exercise... Jul 9 at 10:56

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