MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 79, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
MyLife is now available as a podcast and can be streamed or downloaded from iTunes.
“What explains the pedophilic tendencies we tragically are dealing with in society? We struggle to raise awareness and educate ourselves on how to prevent child abuse, and how to deal with it once it’s occurred and correcting our attitudes. But what about addressing the root WHY of the matter? Is there any psychology or Chassidus that can explain what becomes warped in a person’s psyche that leads them to have these repugnant attractions? I can dig deep and relate to many vices, but not this one – this drive that threatens our children is so dangerous and mysterious. I might point to gender segregation and argue that in the absence of female interaction, males find a closer target but that can’t be the case since this crime is sadly, quite mainstream in the larger world. Essentially I’d like to know if there any way to prevent a person from developing these devastating, sick desires?”
“My children have a strong desire to watch violent videos, e.g. planes crashing and other aggressive stuff. My oldest son, nine-years old, videotaped his friends in camp playing violently. I’m a shliach and bring up my children in a warm chassidishe environment. What can I do about this?”
“From a chassidishe perspective it’s very important to be organized. Hayom Yom 7 Tammuz states, “seder is crucial.” “The Baal Shem Tov was systematic and orderly. The Maggid, his successor, insisted on order. Any my great-grandfather – the Alter Rebbe – taught Chassidim to be orderly.” Can you give practical guidance from the Chassidus on how to go about being more mesudar?”
“I work in NYC in a multicultural office, and following the Supreme Court decision to allow same-gender marriage, I was asked by many of my coworkers what I thought about it. Truthfully, it makes me sick to my stomach that American society has become so depraved. It seems like the generation of the flood or Sodom; the corrosion of western civilization. It also seems that Torah requires us to spread the Noahide laws, which include prohibitions of sexual depravity. Thus, I should proudly stand strong against this indecency and the decay of our society. But in our politically correct environment, I feel that anything I say will appear judgmental and insensitive. How do you suggest I respond?”
“If one’s siblings, relative, friend is “marrying” someone from the same gender, with chupa, kedushin and simchas chasan and kalah, should one participate?”
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the MyLife: Chassidus Applied contest: “The Root of Happiness: Self-realization or Serving a Purpose?” by Nechama Mina Berenstein, “Staying in the Moment” by Sara Spielman, “Healing from PTST through the Teachings of Tanya” by Rivka Mazal Tauber. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/mylife/contest/.
And finally, here is the Chassidus question of the week (our new feature): I understand that the ten sefiros define the structure of all Hishtalshelus. In this context how are we to understand the composition of matter and the four foundational elements (fire, wind, water and earth)? Is all matter and the elements derived from the ten sefiros as well? When I look at a human body, animal, tree, car, roads for example; or when I listen to a voice, music; smell or taste or touch something, is it related to the sefiros?
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.meaningfullife.com/mylife.
The topics in this Sunday’s hour-long broadcast will include:
Chassidus Applied to Elul
What defines a ‘frum’ Jew? (follow-up)
Same gender marriage
How to be more organized according to Chassidus
Children and violence
Chassidus question: What is the role of the Ten Sefiros?
MyLife Essays: Staying in the moment, the root of happiness, Healing from PTST through Tanya
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?
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 MP3’s for listening on the go.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at www.meaningfullife.com/mylifelive.