By COLlive reporter
Photos by C.S. Photography
Over 120 members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community attended Rabbi Manis Friedman‘s fundamental lecture on Monday at the Yeshiva Girls School.
He was introduced by the Head Shliach of Western Pennsylvania and the Dean of Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld.
Rabbi Friedman reached the large, diverse audience through education on the core concepts of human and social needs and habits. “What is emotional health? According to Chassidus, emotional health means, ‘Emotions influenced by intelligence.’ The more the emotions responds to intelligence, the healthier the emotion is.”
He said that “helping a child become a mentch is a process of ‘raising’, which means the child exists on a certain level, and you have to raise him to a higher level… Raising a child means: ‘Get him past himself.’ ”
Rabbi Friedman clarified an important message that is essential for people all ages and backgrounds, “You are saying to the child there are certain realities that are real, whether you feel like it or not. Some things are true whether they are your idea or not. Some things are true and good, even if you don’t like them.
“There are certain things that are more real than your mood. There are certain things more valuable than your desires…. You are elevating, you’re raising your child.”
He added that when telling a child to share a toy or a candy, the message that we are sending is that it’s okay that you do not want to share it, however, that’s not the final decision. When your friend comes over, this is what you do. Your feelings don’t dictate, right and wrong dictate.
How can the child work this out in his mind, the renwed author and lecturer asked.
“If the child is a little bit wiser, a little bit more mature, then he works it out like this: If I’m supposed to share, and everyone will be proud of me if I share and even though I hate doing it, then maybe what I hate and don’t hate is not that important. Maybe doing what I’m supposed to do is MORE important. You have raised your child.”
Rabbi Friedman gave insight to how to intentionally direct and mold our heart into something.
In Tanya language, “A heart that doesn’t have a boss is an unhealthy heart.
Emotions that don’t answer to a higher authority, are unhealthy emotions.”
“If we think of emotions as children, and intelligence as parents: “Children without parents are not happy children. Children without the discipline of parents are not healthy and not happy. Children thrive on structure, on order, on authority, on instruction. There is no child who is emotionally unhealthy, but happy. They’re not happy.”
Rabbi Friedman illustrated how the method of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s selection of the military model when the Rebbe created the Tzivos Hashem organization in 1980 can assist in this endeavor.
He explained how the military concept represents Chassidus rather than the example of the police system. We feel healthy and liberated when we wake up each morning and say, “Today I can!”
Rabbi Friedman told some applicable stories of the Frierdicke Rebbe,
answered several questions from the audience, and then he spoke to a number of individuals late into the night.
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