The practice of mitzvot (sacred actions) has a special role to play in awakening and transforming the soul. This book uses the mystical teachings of Judaism and the rich, spiritual potential of mitzvot as techniques to help the reader become more self aware, confront unwanted personality characteristics, and replace them with positive qualities for greater personal harmony. Based on Esther Chasin's popular La'asot ('to do') courses on the same topic, this book suggests that by living with intense consciousness rather than by habit, one can identify undesirable traits that result in malaise and unsatisfying relationships, as well as desirable characteristics that lead to joy. Once inappropriate qualities are detected, they can be turned around so that negative effects are transformed into positive ones. Each chapter is structured according to the teaching in Pirke Avot (The Ethics of the Fathers) that knowledge is fulfilled through ma'aseh, action. Chasin adds hitbodedut (meditation) to this recipe, thereby developing a path to self-fulfillment that is both traditional and thoroughly modern, encompassing mind, body, and soul.
Esther G. Chasin completed her formal Torah education, including the Prophets and Pirke Avot Musar, in 1929. With a B.H.L. from the Teachers Institute, she taught Hebrew school for 12 years, interrupting her career for marriage and family. She became engrossed in the spiritual goals of different traditions, especially kabbalah, in the 1970's. From 1978-1979 she coordinated the course "Teachings in Mysticism" for the Great Neck Adult Program. She arranged shabbatons and lectures, led by kabbalah teachers, in her home. Since 1984 she has taught kabbalah doctrines and a course she developed called "La'Asot," blending Torah with kabbalah as a spiritual psychology that engages the soul. Chasin, widowed in 1980, is the mother of three and grandmother of three.