MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 150, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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With only two weeks to the deadline for submitting essays in this year’s MyLife: Chassidus Essay Contest, the organizers of the contest are encouraging you to submit your essay and not lose out on the opportunity to win $10,000 first prize, $3,6000 second prize or $1,000 third prize.
What should be our attitude to horoscopes and astrology? Does Torah and Chassidus attribute any significance to them? Do horoscopes play any role in relationships? Can they be taken into consideration when dating?
This coming Shabbos marks the 29th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. Unlike the Rebbe’s very public role, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka lead a very private and reserved life; that was part of her regality. What lessons does this offer us today? How can a Jewish woman living in our day and age maintain a sense of private and modest regality when the role of women has become so much more public and ‘out there’? If “the dignity of a woman is within,” an understated and gentle beauty, how can she be active and in the limelight and still uphold the utmost degree of tznius?
Rabbi Jacobson will address these relevant issues in this week’s 150th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. Other topics that will be discussed include: renewing inspiration and finding strength to pursue talents and dreams.
In addition, in a special feature, Rabbi Jacobson will highlight a unique essay (submitted in last year’s contest), which addresses the question: How can we help someone overcome their own self-doubt based on their feeding into their own false beliefs? How can one escape a handicapping mindset and reach a place of self-worth and real progress?
Exploring the possibilities one can achieve in spite of and specifically through illness, the essay, titled The Illness That Births the Cure, written by Shira Ort, opens with the challenge: Illness of every kind, whether of the body or the mind, is an unavoidable part of the human condition. Any doctor will tell you that the greatest barrier to healing is the doubt that one can ever be cured, and the greatest stimulus to recovery is the belief and realistic hope that one can and will recover. But Torah and the teachings of Chassidus go way beyond that, and come to inform and inspire us that the very illness that plagues us has the potential to be the catalyst for otherwise unimaginable growth.
The essay concludes with the moving words: And so, the next time you are feeling ill, be it be mentally, physically, spiritually or emotionally, and doubt comes around knocking on your door, antagonizing you, questioning your faith, challenging your hope, asking you: “If all you believe to be true is true, where is you precious redemption?” Turn and look him squarely in his eyes and say “We are actualizing our dream, practicing what our masters have taught us, living in integrity with what we believe. We are taking the longer but shorter way because we are not willing to leave one person behind. We are not willing to be redeemed until we have done everything in our power to elevate and redeem each and every spark of G-dliness, just as we have been given the chance to do, even if that means being in exile a bit longer. We won’t leave you behind either, doubt, we will redeem you, we will uplift you and we will transform you to goodness, for that is what it means to be part of the Divine.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the last MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Even in Hell” by Tova Mordechai; “The Art of Initiation” by Zalman GOldberg; and “Bitachon and Business Dignity” by Roxanne Hancock. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Part V in a comprehensive series of understanding the implications of the Kabbalistic concept of Reshimu.
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 Chof Beis Shvat
· Lessons from Yisro
· How can a woman ensure her public role doesn’t compromise her innate modesty?
· I’m living life on autopilot!
· How can I inspire myself when my dreams are all burned out?
· Does Torah recognize horoscopes?
· Catalyst for Growth: The Illness Itself?
· Sexual addiction: feedback
· Chassidus Question: Reshimu- Part V
· MyLife Essays: Even in Hell, The Art of Initiation, Bitachon and Business Dignity
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.
All episodes are immediately available for viewing in the MLC’s archive and can be downloaded as MP3s for listening on the go.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at meaningfullife.com/mylife