What is the Significance of the Nine Days Today? Is Machlokes an Inevitable Part of Golus? Am I Too Sensitive? Having Children at an Advanced Age; Can a Person Control His Ratzon or Does It Control Him?
MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 172, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
With the month of Av and the Nine Days approaching, how does Chassidus illuminate this otherwise sad and woeful time period? What is the significance of the Nine Days today?
Divisiveness and discord (sinas chinam) was the cause for the destruction of the Temple and golus, and is a major reason the geulah has not yet arrived. It seems that strife and disharmony (machlokes) are deeply built into golus. Is Machlokes an inevitable part of golus? And if it is, do we have any control over it?
“My husband is 50 and I am a handful of years his junior. We would like to continue having more children. Amongst the doubts we have, the greatest one is: Is it fair to bring children into this world and perhaps not be able to give them the youthful parental support that they need? Can you clarify this personal dilemma? Did the Rebbe ever discuss having children later in life?”
“Sensitivity is a tremendous virtue. It allows us to empathize with another. But for me, sensitivity seems to be a major weakness. Every time I have a mere disagreement with someone, I’m left crying while the other person seems unfazed. Even when it comes to small issues, I get hurt so easily. How can I become stronger? What can help me realize that disagreeing is a part of life? How can I help myself not be so sensitive and affected by others?”
Rabbi Jacobson will address these personal and relevant issues in this week’s 172nd episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. Follow up to the topics of tznius, missing the Rebbe, spiritual time zones and waiting for marriage will also be discussed.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the last MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Attaining a Mindset of Depth in a Shallow World” by Bayla Oster; “Love in Three Dimensions” by Miryam Guitta; and “Learning Love from G-d” by Alter Deitsch. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Can you please discuss the concept of ratzon in Chassidus? Ratzon is a term used in so many discourses, and I have never had anyone explain what it means exactly. It’s usually translated as will or desire. Does that refer to our everyday wills and desires? How is that consistent with ratzon being a supra-conscious faculty (in keser), unlike our internal (cognitive and emotional) faculties? Is ratzon something that we have any control over or does it control us? Ratzon seems like such an elusive thing to master, so how can someone properly align his emotions with his ratzon?
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 Chodesh Av and Devarim/Shabbas Chazon
· The significance of the Nine Days
· Is Machlokes an inevitable part of Galus?
· When is it appropriate to leave one’s post?
· Is advanced age a legitimate reason to not have more children?
· Am I too sensitive?
o The Rebbe I never knew
o Spiritual time zones
o Waiting around for marriage
· Chassidus Question: Defining Ratzon
· MyLife Essays: Attaining a Mindset of Depth in a Shallow World, Love in Three Dimensions, Learning Love from G-d
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.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at meaningfullife.com/mylife