MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 85, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
The transition from the rich holiday month of Tishrei to the post-holiday season is a fascinating study in the emotional ups and downs of the human condition: How to deal with the inevitable “down” that follows every high moment of inspiration? What does the Rebbe/Chassidus teach us about this challenge? How can we avoid the “blues” following these extraordinary days, and “unpack” the precious bundles we gathered during the holidays? While it is relatively easy to get inspired and make a resolution, maintaining it is far more difficult. What Chassidus-based techniques and methods can be employed?
As we begin the New Year, you can look forward to a new year of surprising and refreshing issues that will be addressed in this and upcoming episodes, including difficult and taboo questions that—despite the holiday break—didn’t stop streaming in over the last month.
Other topics to be addressed this week include: the pre-marital challenges facing young men and women today, what defines a Chassidishe person, do non-Jews have souls and how to deal with lying and trust issues.
Why are premarital relations prohibited? What is the best way to build a wholesome life and create a healthy and lasting relationship, home and family?
“When dating seriously some individuals try to cover up their past inappropriate relations. How should this be dealt with? What can practically be done to change the loose attitudes some have to pre-marital intimacy. How should this issue be addressed in a civil and productive fashion? How do we infuse our children with the proper values and standards regarding sexuality?”
In the area of shidduchim, Rabbi Jacobson will address the standards that define a Chassid. “Can you please clarify what is considered chassidish for a potential wife? For example, can a chasiddishe girl like to shop, wear nail polish, make up, and make an effort to look good nice and dress up? Does she need to like farbrenging? What’s ok and what is a no-no in a Chassidic girl? And what are guidelines for males?”
“I have been taught from Tanya that only Jews have a divine soul. Non-Jews do not. I am uncomfortable with this teaching. I want to know if this is truly what the Alter Rebbe himself taught? And how is this consistent with the fact that the Torah says that all humans (originating from Adam) were created in the divine image? And that we have an obligation to influence them to keep the Noahide Laws given at Sinai?”
“I find myself being dishonest with others. When I started lying it was originally to protect myself. I would get out of negative situations by lying my way out of them. Now that I am older, I’d like to break this habit, which has by now become second nature. I now understand that I lie because of my lack of trust in others. My dishonesty has crossed over into my davening in the sense that since I lack trust in people, I also lack trust in Hashem. So, Rabbi Jacobson, how can I a) be more honest and b) be more trusting?”
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the MyLife: Chassidus Applied contest: “Soul-Based Relationships ”, by Alice Kaplun; “Being Goal-Oriented and Present in the Moment ”, by Akiva Lipkin; “Harnessing the Power of the Mind”, by Hadasa Baruchman. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/mylife/contest/.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Since our year’s destiny is written and sealed on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is there any hope for changing our fate throughout the year? Do we believe in such fatalism? And if that is indeed the case, that our fate is sealed with no hope for change, what is the point of our daily prayers and service asking for blessings of good health and livelihood etc.? I have learned in Chassidus the distinction between the sealed book of the High Holidays and our prayers every day, but can you please explain it in palatable terms and apply it and show how it practically effects our daily lives?
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.appliedchassidus.com.
The topics in this Sunday’s hour-long broadcast will include:
Chassidus Applied to the post-holiday season and Parshas Noach
What defines a Chassidishe person? How, if at all, is “Chassidish” different than “Frum”?
Shidduchim: What makes a girl Chassidish?
Do non-Jews have a soul?
How to stop lying: Honesty and trust issues
Chassidus Question: Is the book sealed or is fate in our hands?
MyLife Essays: Soul-Based Relationships, Being Goal-Oriented and Present in the Moment, Harnessing the Power of the Mind
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.appliedchassidus.com.