How Can I Help a Narcissist? Can Creativity be Taught? Yom Tov Leaves Me Sleep Deprived! What Happened with the Alter Rebbe’s Son, Reb Moshe?
MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 160, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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What is the difference between self-interest and narcissism? Self-interest is inherent to human nature (odom korov eitzel atzmo). When does it cross over the line into the disorder called narcissism? Is there any way to help or heal a narcissist? Can we make someone aware of their narcissistic behavior?
I have read some controversial things about the Alter Rebbe’s son, Reb Moshe. Can you please address this and provide some clarity?
Yom Tov leaves many of us sleep deprived. The nights we stay up to learn until the morning make it very difficult to have a productive and meaningful Yom Tov the next day. We had this issue on the night of the Seventh of Pesach, and we will have it again on the first night of Shavuot, when the custom is to stay up until dawn. How is it possible to get just a couple hours of sleep and wake up to learn Chassidus before davening and then daven like a chossid? It seems strange that our Chazal and our Rebbeim intended for us to have an exhausted Yom Tov. How can we properly celebrate the day if we’re fatigued?
How can people nurture and develop attributes that don’t come naturally to them? “I recognize within myself that I have a very hard time accessing my chochma – my creativity; my ability to conceive and innovate new ideas. While I often think of myself as more analytical, I know my life suffers by not being more capable of chochma inspiration. What exercises can I do to open my mind to be more creative? Is creativity innate or can it be learned?
These are among the relevant issues Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 160th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. Other topics that will be discussed include: singing Carlebach nigunim during davening and discussing Taharas Hamishpacha with children. In addition, he will share feedback received to last week’s topics about sanctifying the permissible (kadesh atzmecho b’mutar loch) and what Chof Ches Nisan demands of us.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in this year’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “A Shidduch: Illuminated by the Teachings of Chassidus” by Esther Rochel Elkaim, “You Are Here” by Avi Lowell, and “Freedom from Addiction” by DovBer Oirechman. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: As we are now in the third week of counting the Omer, when we refine the emotion of tiferes, can you please explain what exactly is tiferes? In some places Chassidus says that tiferes is a combination of chesed and gevurah. In other places, tiferes is described as a separate entity. Sometimes tiferes is defined as beauty, and sometimes as rachmanus (compassion). Can you please help make some order between all these different aspects of tiferes?
Another tiferes related question: Since tiferes is the middle path (kav ha’emtzoei) that balances between the right (chesed) and left (gevurah), how can we explain tiferes of Tohu? The shattering of the containers in Tohu are a result of an imbalance. Why did tiferes of Tohu not create balance and prevent the shevirah?
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 Acharei Mos-Kedoshim
· How can I help a narcissist?
· Is Yom Tov supposed to be spent sleep-deprived?
· Is it ok to use Carlebach nigunim during davening?
· How to effectively discuss Taharas Hamishpacha with children?
· What happened with the Alter Rebbe’s son, Reb Moshe?
· Can creativity be taught even to someone who isn’t naturally creative?
· Sanctifying the permissible (follow-up)
· Chassidus Question: Is Tiferes a blend or its own entity? Is it beauty or rachmanus? What is Tiferes of Tohu?
· MyLife Essays: A Shidduch: Illuminated by the Teachings of Chassidus, You Are Here, Freedom from Addiction
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