Spouse vs. Parents; Growing through a Tough Childhood; Giving up on Children? Process of Writing and Publishing Sichos
MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 102, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
MyLife MP3s are available to download from the Meaningful Life Center Shop. Become a free member today and receive unlimited Mylife MP3 downloads.
A child is like a warm ball of wax. Every imprint on that wax has an effect forever. Our childhood experiences inevitably mold us into who we become as adults. Is there anything we can do to overcome obstacles from our youth and negative experiences? What if we do not want to emulate the environments we were exposed to? Is there a way to break free, remove these impressions and change? Can we develop self-esteem, unconditional love and acceptance of self later in life even if we were deprived of them in childhood?
Other topics that will be addressed in this week’s episode of My Life: Chassidus Applied include:
What takes precedence in marriage – one’s spouse or parents and siblings? “The Rebbe states that our first allegiance for a successful marriage is our spouse. Can you please elaborate on this?”
How can I influence my kids instead of just over-powering them? How can I create a positive connection with them that inspires them to follow what I’m telling and teaching them? And how do I create a comfortable environment?”
Are there any circumstances which warrant us giving up on our child? The parsha of ben sorer u’moreh seems to suggest a hopeless child. Is that applicable?
Rabbi Simon Jacobson began his “career” as a chozer and maniyach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, one of a select few who both remembered and documented the Rebbe’s talks for posterity. Most of what we know of the Rebbe’s teachings comes from this work which entailed an incredible effort to retain hours upon hours of the Farbrengens delivered on Shabbos and Yom Tov, when no recordings or notes could be taken. How was this done? In this episode Rabbi Jacobson will walk us through the process of preserving these eternal words of the Rebbe.
“Can you spend some time on your weekly Chassidus applied talks to discuss the making and writing of the Hanochos? What was the process from chazora to writing? How did this develop over the years? Was there an effort to keep to the Rebbe’s words verbatim, or was the intent to make the sicha formulated for the written form? Why did the Rebbe start editing more of his talks in the later years? Did Vaad Hanochos Hatmimim and Lahak do chazora separately? If the sichos in Yiddish and Hebrew are not identical, how do we understand that?”
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in last year’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Can You Achieve Constant Uninterrupted Happiness?” by Moshe Bernstein, “The Rebbe’s Enduring Leadership” by Yochanan Gordon, and “Sorting Through the Uncertainty” by Shlomo Laufer. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: A few weeks ago you discussed the Alter Rebbe’s second chapter of Shaar HaYichud V’Haemunah speaking about creation ex nihilo. There the distinction is made between water — whose nature is to descend, and a stone wall — whose nature is, seemingly, not to fall downward. My two questions are: (1) Isn’t everything in this world subject to the force of gravity, independent of the specific item? How then can the Alter Rebbe refer to the “nature” of water to descend as a separate creation? (2) Related, even a stone wall will descend if the lower stones aren’t placed flatly and balanced so that they hold up the stones above. If the Alter Rebbe is saying that water’s nature is to descend, surely the nature of stones is to descend as well. The carefully placed stones in the wall don’t descend only because they’re balanced (and maybe have substance gluing them together). Would the Alter Rebbe have doubted that the force of gravity exists? Can you please explain?
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 Adar I
The process of chazora and hanochos (remembering and documenting the Rebbe’s talks)
Kabolas ol (follow-up)
First allegiance in marriage
Power vs. influence in parenting
Ben Sorer U’moreh: Giving up on a child?
How to grow through abuse: acquiring self-esteem, unconditional love and acceptance after a dysfunctional childhood
Chassidus question: the force of gravity
MyLife Essays: Sorting through Uncertainty, The Rebbe’s Enduring Leadership, Can You Achieve Constant, Uninterrupted Happiness?
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