How Should We Communicate with the Emotionally Immature? Are Dreams Significant? How Can We Excite Children About Mashiach without Disappointing Them? How Much is Too Much in Assuming New Restrictions Upon Oneself? Do We Have Double Standards When Dealing with Non-Orthodox Denominations?
MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 159, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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How can I effectively communicate with someone who is emotionally immature?
We are told to “sanctify yourself [even] in that which is permitted.” On the other hand, we are taught “are not those things which the Torah has prohibited sufficient for you that you must forbid additional things to yourself?” How do we reconcile these two statements? How do we know when enough is enough and that we are not going overboard when assuming our own restrictions? How does this apply to marital intimacy? Should a couple establish additional restrictions upon themselves beyond the ones required by Torah?
Do dreams have real significance? There are stories in the Gemara of sages interpreting their dreams – even dreams which may seem inappropriate. Can regular people also assume that their dreams have meaning? Should we attempt to interpret them?
The Moshiach Seudah struck up an interesting conversation with my young daughter. She wanted to know why we insist with all sincerity that Moshiach will come this Acharon Shel Pesach, when we know that it may not happen? We did the same thing last year, and Mashiach didn’t come then. So why do we keep repeating the same unequivocal tune? She was so disappointed when Yom Tov was over and Moshiach wasn’t here.
In other words – how do we find a balance between the seemingly two opposites: On one hand, true belief in Moshiach’s arrival means that we are certain that he will come, leaving no room for it not to happen. On the other hand, if we leave room for any doubt about Moshiach’s coming, then we’re not having complete faith. But then again, if we leave no possibility of Moshiach not coming then if he doesn’t arrive, we’re left with very disappointed children whose excitement is dashed. What is the right way to instill in our children absolute belief in Moshiach’s imminent arrival?
How is it that rabbinic scribes sell Torah scrolls to liberal streams of Judaism for $100-250K but won’t enter the office of the liberal rabbi to have a conversation with him? To say that פרנסה trumps all, does not seem to me as an adequate answer as it is morally bankrupt. Can all this rabbinical argumentation on Jewish and rabbinical legitimacy be negated for a price? And if so, what does that say about us? Should rabbis across the board make more effort to have meaningful dialogue with other denominations?
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following new essays submitted in the latest MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest of 2017: “Humble and Grateful: A Chassidic Approach to Happiness” by Daniel Feld; “The Chasidic Approach to Dealing with PTSD” by Avrumie Karp; and “The Refinement of Purpose” by Chony Milecki. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Chassidus teaches that creation has no impact on G-d because all of creation is from a mere reflection of His light (ohr), and just like sunlight does not affect the sun, so too creation does not affect G-d. But then Chassidus goes on to say that unlike sunlight which shines automatically and arbitrarily and doesn’t “care” (i.e. is indifferent) where it shines, Hashem is consciously choosing (b’rotzon) to shine, and isn’t indifferent to His creation. So, if He chooses it (unlike light), how can we say that it does not affect Him? How can we reconcile these two ideas?
This hour-long dose of insights is meant to inform, inspire and empower us by applying the teachings of Chassidus to help us face practical and emotional challenges and difficulties in our personal lives and relationships. To have your question addressed, please submit it at meaningfullife.com/mylife.
The topics in this Sunday’s hour-long broadcast will include:
· Chassidsus Applied to Tazria-Metzora
· Lessons from Beis Iyar
· Should we refrain from things that are permitted?
· How much is too much in assuming new restrictions upon oneself?
· How to communicate with an emotionally immature person
· What should I make of my strange dreams?
· Dealing with children’s disappointment in waiting for Mashiach
· Why won’t we take part in an unorthodox minyan but will sell them a Sefer Torah?
· Chassidus Question: Hashem chooses to engage with us, so how can we say that it makes no difference to Him at all?
· MyLife Essays: Humble and Grateful: A Chassidic Approach to Happiness, The Chasidic Approach to Dealing with PTSD, The Refinement of Purpose
In what has now become a staple in many people’s lives, MyLife: Chassidus Applied addresses questions that many people are afraid to ask and others are afraid to answer. When asked about the sensitive topics he has been addressing, Rabbi Simon Jacobson commented, “I understand that the stakes are high and great care has to be taken when speaking openly, but the silence and lack of clarity on matters plaguing the community can no longer go unaddressed. The stakes of not providing answers are even higher.”
The on-going series has provoked a significant reaction from the community, with thousands of people viewing each live broadcast and hundreds of questions pouring in week after week. At the root of every question and personal challenge tackled by the series is the overarching question: Does Judaism have the answers to my personal dilemmas?
In inimitable “Jacobson-fashion”, the broadcast answers people’s questions in simple, clear language while being heavily sourced. Each episode is jam-packed with eye-opening advice from the Rebbeim, gleaned from uncovering surprising gems in their letters, sichos and maamorim that address our personal issues with disarming relevance. Simultaneously, Rabbi Jacobson is able to crystallize a concept quickly, succinctly, and poignantly for any level of listener.
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