MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 115, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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Not much is known about the Rebbe’s youngest brother, R’ Yisroel Aryeh Leib, who passed away in 1952 at the young age 43, and whose yahrzeit is next Shabbos, 13 Iyar. What did the Rebbe say about him? What lessons can we learn from his life?
I am a very blessed person and, thank G-d, and have many reasons to be happy and optimistic. I’ve come to realize, though, that I am afraid of happiness. Whenever I’m feeling content or experiencing an idyllic moment, the intense happiness makes me panic. I’ve been conditioned to find purpose and meaning in the struggles of life and therefore tread cautiously around tranquility. My uneasiness about happiness extends to my anticipation of Mashiach as well, because I don’t understand how a perfect life can be meaningful. How can I learn to appreciate the serene moments in life? And how can I understand that a perfect life (Mashiach) can indeed be meaningful?
I was recently visited by J Witnesses. They wanted to share their ideas and hear mine. Our conversation was polite and short lived, but I closed the door frustrated at myself for not being more assertive. Should I not have taken their pamphlet even though I intended to trash it afterward? Was I supposed to be less polite and debunk their statements? Can you give me some advice on how to deal with this more confidently in the future?
As a Ba’al Teshuvah, my previous lifestyle is still alive in my memory and sometimes fills my mind at unwanted times. This issue is especially relevant during davening. What tools can help me put memories of past relationships that would be best forgotten behind me? In general, what is there to do about my past creeping into my present?
These are among the relevant issues that Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 115th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied.
Other topics that will be discussed include the lessons from Parshas Emor as well as follow up to previously discussed topics: women being the breadwinners, prioritizing on Shabbas Mevarchim, dealing with unanswered questions and understanding the role of a Rebbe.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in last year’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Encountering You” by Rikkie Winner, “Know How to Listen: The Role of the Mashpia to Listen and Relate to the Individual” by Mishael Elmalem and “A Chassidic Take on the Four Letter Word” by Avremel Vogel. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Can you please explain the chiddush of the Alter Rebbe with the use of the idea of “ohr,” as described in the Maamar Vayeilech in Hemshech Samach Vav (top of page 169): וזהו מה שחידש רבינו נ”ע דהאור נק’ א”ס מפני שהוא מעין המאור?
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 Emor
Yud Gimmel Iyar, Yartzeit of the Rebbe’s Brother
How can a perfect life be meaningful?
Interacting with missionaries
Clearing the mind from past, best-forgotten relationships
Feedback and follow-up:
– Proof of G-d’s existence
– Shabbas Mevarchim
– Women as Breadwinner
– The Rebbe
Chassidus Question: What is the Alter Rebbe’s innovation about “ohr”?
MyLife Essays: Encountering You, Know How to Listen: The Role of the Mashpia to Listen and Relate to the Individual, A Chassidic Take on the Four Letter Word
In what has now become a staple in 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.
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Questions may be submitted anonymously at meaningfullife.com/mylife
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