MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 162, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Special Lag B’Omer Edition
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What is Lag B’Omer’s message for us? How should a chossid make the most of the day?
How can we understand the stories of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s seemingly intense intolerance? It sounds incongruent with everything else we learn about Rashbi?
In a letter, the Frierdiker Rebbe bemoans the behavior of some “mashpi’im” who, instead of teaching Chassidus of the Rebbeim in their original form, use concepts of Chassidus as material for their speeches and present them as “Chassidus:” “They justify themselves by arguing that they are doing it so that ‘the people should understand,’ but in fact they are rebelling against the Rebbeim and dimming the pure light planted by them. It is therefore no surprise that their words have no lasting impact on their listeners.” Please shed some light on the Frierdiker Rebbe’s critique. Don’t his words invalidate the entire premise of Chassidus applied?
Yiddishkeit demands of us to meticulously calculate and control our thought, speech, and action. Yet, if we look at major events in Torah and in history in general, many of them were initiated by a ‘wild act’, one that set the extraordinary into motion. Pioneering changes don’t happen by following the conventional, but by being radical. Both order and wildness have a significant role in serving G-d it would appear, so how do we know when to react with wildness and when its misplaced? How do we find balance between the two?
Last week, in the tractate of Sotah, we learned that if the sotah (alleged devious women) is proven innocent after drinking the waters that determine her status, then in compensation for her embarrassment and pain, if she previously gave birth to females, she will bear male children; if she was bearing short children, she will bear tall ones; if she was bearing swarthy ones, she will bear fair ones. This reward places the fair, tall, male at the top of the pecking order. Are males indeed superior to females; tall to short; white to dark skinned?
Rabbi Jacobson will address these relevant and controversial issues in this week’s 162nd episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. He will also continue discussing the following topics: what Chof Ches Nisan demands of us, the issues surrounding a school strike, enjoying G-ds beautiful world and understanding narcissism.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the last MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Staying Afloat in the Age of Information” by Chaim Luria; “The Present: The Greatest Gift of All” by Mendy Levitin; and “Addiction vs Self Control” by Amchaye Even-Yisroel. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: As we are entering the fifth week of counting the Omer, when we refine the emotion of hod, can you please explain what exactly is hod? How does it apply to our personal lives? I understand that hod has several interpretations- can you please elaborate on them?
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 Lag B’Omer
· Does Chassidus Applied “dim the pure light” of Chassidus?
· How to ‘own’ the place you are in
· What does Chassidus say about being “wild” and radical actions?
· Are some people superior to others?
· Can we make predictions about Mashiach based on current events?
· Chof Ches Nisan- what should we be doing? (follow-up)
· School strike (follow-up)
· Enjoying G-d’s world (follow-up)
· Understanding narcissism (follow-up)
· Chassidus Question: What is the midah of hod in our personal lives?
· MyLife Essays: Staying Afloat in the Age of Information; The Present: The Greatest Gift of All; Addiction vs. Self-Control
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