MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 138, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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What lessons did the Rebbe derive from Thanksgiving?
In the historic sicha of Vayeishev 5752 the Rebbe explains that the Alter Rebbe opposed Napoleon due to his G-dless independence, which would have made material life easier for Jews, but challenged their spiritual integrity. But today, says the Rebbe, we have the capacity to refine the independence and liberties of the modern world. Can we also apply this principle to the progressive left of our times, represented by President Obama and others?
The whole world seems to be very busy chasing “success” – an ambiguous destination. What is success according to Chassidus? Is there a universal standard of success? Is it measured differently for a Jew? Many Jews lead good, earnest and selfless lives, does this make them by default successful? And more importantly, is success even something we should be pursuing?
My child learnt to say the word Moshiach even before he learnt to say “mommy.” But now, as a young teen, the concept of Moshiach doesn’t really appeal to him. An eternity of davening, learning and doing mitzvos all day sounds monotonous and not enjoyable. He’s a good, frum kid, but for a goal that he’s been taught to work toward his entire life to seem boring is a letdown for him. How can I infuse some excitement into it?
Can someone with a mental disorder exercise moach shalet al halev? Or is it reserved only for those whose minds function normally?
Is it appropriate to keep up with the ever-changing fashion world? In a story about the Mitteler Rebbe, the Alter Rebbe once promised him a reward if he removed a fur collar from his new coat. How does this translate into today’s increase of following clothing trends? Was the Alter Rebbe’s stance a specific instruction for his son or is this something we should all work on?
These are among the relevant and provocative issues Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 138th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in this year’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Reclaiming Empathy: Why Should We Care?” by Chanie Wilhelm, “The Paradox of the Void” by Duvie Feldman, and “Loving Your Fellow as Yourself. For Real.” by Dovid Zalmanov. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays-2016.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Can you please shed some light on the frequently mentioned concepts in Chassidus, ohr yosher and ohr chozer?
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:
· Chassidus Applied to Chayei Sarah and Mevarchim Kislev
· Lessons from Chof Cheshvan
· What did the Rebbe say about Thanksgiving?
· Can we compare today’s progressive to Napoleon – as something we can refine as per the Rebbe’s historic sicha of Vayeishev 5752?
· Mashiach doesn’t excite my child!
· What is the yardstick of success?
· Is moach shalet al ha’lev compatible with a mental disorder?
· Today’s heightened fashion sense – problematic?
· Video games and movies: Follow-up
· Chassidus Question: Ohr Yosher vs. Ohr Chozer
· MyLife Essays: Reclaiming Empathy: Why Should We Care? The Paradox of the Void, Loving Your Fellow as Yourself… For Real
In what has now become a staple in so 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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Questions may be submitted anonymously at meaningfullife.com/mylife
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