How does Chassidus prepare us for the New Year? How can these special days improve and change our lives – emotionally, psychologically and spiritually? How do we get into the right headspace and heartspace to take advantage of the yomim noraim?
One questioner asks, “I suffer from agoraphobia (fear of public spaces). Usually it’s manageable but with Rosh Hashana and the yomim tovim coming up, I am frightened of going to shul. Do you have any advice?”
This episode will also be exploring a few questions about the nature of faith and service.
“Unfortunately we are hearing about tragedy, pain and suffering way too often lately. The typical response is, ‘oy vey, we need Moshiach already,’ and then life continues as if nothing happened. Is that simple response enough? I find that this conventional response sounds very mechanical and rote. Does it even reflect true emunah? What is the believer’s – a chassid’s – response to pain and suffering?”
“As I was reciting Tefillas Ha’derech (travelers prayer) on a plane, that little voice inside began to question: ‘If you don’t say it, will the plane crash? Will the flight be delayed and miss your connection?’ I told the voice no, that’s not what it is about. It’s about thanking Hashem for the opportunity to fly, the health, recourses, occasion etc. The little voice began to laugh, how many times a day does Hashem need to be acknowledged and thanked? You just finished Mincha; should that not carry your appreciation to Him for a while? Why do we have to thank G-d all the time? Are we overdoing it a bit?!”
Other topics that will be addressed in this episode include: advice how to navigate the complicated waters of in-laws, as well as continuing the discussion on mental health as seen through the lens of Chassidus.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the MyLife: Chassidus Applied contest: Converting Weaknesses into Strengths: The Chassidus approach to hyperactivity, by Chaim Hillel Kirenberg, 30, Cholon. Expressing Your Essence, by Erez Peleg, 50, Ph.D – lecturer at Levinsky College, Kiryan Ono, Israel. Finding Inner Peace, by Chana Engel, 21, Melbourne.
These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/mylife/contest/.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: “One of the most famous and fundamental concepts taught in Chassidus is that the purpose of creation is to make a dirah b’tachtonim, a divine home for G-d in the lowest of worlds. But then in many Rosh Hashana discourses, we learn that the purpose of creation was “ano emloch,” G-d’s desire to “rule” over the universe. Thus, as Rosh Hashana begins the entire world enters a “comatose” state, awaiting our service on Rosh Hashana (primarily through sounding the shofar) to crown G-d as King, accept His sovereignty over us, thereby awakening and stimulating anew His Divine Desire for creating and ruling over existence. How can we reconcile these two explanations for the purpose of existence: The former reason is about Hashem dwelling among us, while the latter reason emphasizes G-d ruling over us as our King? Dwelling among us, like one dwells in their home, implies a warm and close relationship, while crowning and subjugating oneself to a king suggests a distant and awe-filled experience. Indeed, the King does not dwells among us; He dwells in His palace?
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 www.appliedchassidus.com.
The topics in this Sunday’s hour-long broadcast will include:
* Chassidus Applied to Rosh Hashana
* Agoraphobia: Coping with fear of crowded spaces on Yom Tov
* Intrusive mother-in-law
* Mental health – continued
* How does a person of faith cope with tragedy?
* Why does G-d need us to thank him all the time?
* Chassidus Question: Is G-d ruling over us or dwelling within us?
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, 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. 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?
All episodes are immediately available for viewing in the MLC’s archive and can be downloaded as MP3’s for listening on the go.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at www.appliedchassidus.com.