The Baltimore community is fortunate to have benefited from Mrs. Esther Badian’s Torah wisdom for decades, through her teaching in Bais Yaakov High School, in Maalot, and in Women’s Institute of Torah (WIT). Now our community can learn how to practically transform Torah principles into perfected middos (character traits), as she utilizes her teaching and pastoral counseling skills to facilitate her middos-transformation chaburas (groups).
As Rebbetzin Lea Feldman told WWW, “Esther Badian is a thinking person who is very much aware of the neshama of a human being and what we were created for – to improve ourselves. There is no human being who doesn’t have to perfect his middos – no matter how good you are, no matter how wonderful your middos are, there is always something that one can work on and improve on. Mrs. Badian has a feel for this. She can size up people and help people... I recommend her very highly.”
It was an honor and a privilege to interview Mrs. Badian.
WWW: Why is it important to join a middos-transformation chabura?
EB: A major part of a person’s avodas Hashem (service to Hashem), besides the performance of mitzvos, is his refinement of character traits. Part of a person’s “journey” on this earth is to become a better person through the refinement of middos. In order to bring a person’s full potential to fruition, a person needs the tools and techniques to work on his middos, which I will teach to the chabura.
WWW: How do you envision your chabura?
EB: It will be a very small, intimate group of up to ten women (starting from two years post-seminary) of all backgrounds and skill levels, who are ready to work on themselves and do homework and chavrusa work. We will work on one midda, slowly, for a very long time. However, many of the tools and techniques we will present can help a person work on another midda simultaneously. Everything discussed in the chabura will remain confidential, as we will all share personal inner struggles.
As educators, parents, mothers, and mentors, we encourage personal growth, but we are not really provided with enough tools, techniques, or a daily, methodical way to reach that goal. The tools presented in the chabura will strive to make middos an integral part of a person’s personal and interpersonal life, rather than a concept in a mussar book.
WWW: What sources will you use to achieve this goal?
EB: The sessions will be based on lessons from Tanach and mussar sefarim. We will learn certain specific techniques to help us with those middos that present a struggle.
WWW: How quickly can a person improve?
EB: The change will not occur in a day, not in a week, and not in a month. Working on a character trait requires very deep, authentic soul-searching to realize the real motivations behind one’s behavior.
WWW: How will you choose the middos to work on?
EB: The chabura will be based on character traits presented by the mussar sefarim.
WWW: Can a person who excels in certain middos still benefit from this chabura?
EB: Certain people do have an easier time, for example, giving to others, being happy for others, being less jealous, less stingy, or more patient. A person may have inborn abilities and strength of character, but if he wants to build something from the root and see it bear fruit, I believe he can fine-tune and perfect his inborn nature. I feel anyone can benefit from this work!
WWW: How often, when, and where will the chabura take place?
EB: The reasonably priced chabura will take place on a continual basis once a week, for an hour, starting in February in a home setting (place, day, and time to be announced, in consideration of participants’ preferences). I will do my best to accommodate young mothers to make it possible for them to attend.
For further information and/or to register for the chabura, call Mrs. Badian, 410-578-1568.