MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 117, 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.
In Parshas Emor (21:17-23) we read how physically blemished, crippled or impaired priests, are prohibited from serving in the Holy Temple. How do we reconcile this with the fact that the soul is always pure and with the innate compassion of a loving Torah, Toras chesed?
This question is especially pronounced in the current backdrop of our society’s admirable attitude to the physically impaired, as reflected in many of today’s laws, like the USA’s Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications. If humans are that sensitive, how can it be that the divine Torah, which is the epitome and embodiment of kindness, bars a priest with G-d given imperfections (even temporary ones) from serving in the Beis Hamikdash?!
Broadening the question: Why in the first place would a caring and empathetic G-d allow for children to be born with disabilities or for adults to suffer in one way or another?
In this week’s 117th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied Rabbi Jacobson will address this controversial topic through the lens of a revolutionary Chassidic discourse from the Alter Rebbe, deciphering an amazing Zohar which sheds light on the mystery of human suffering, physical disabilities and scars, and the seemingly harsh stance restricting impaired priests from serving in the Temple.
Other topics that will be discussed in the episode include:
Why don’t we commemorate great liberations and tragedies of our times? Just as Purim and Chanukah and the Fast of Gedalyah, were instituted by the sages of old, why aren’t holidays designated today to recognize the different events – both happy and sad – that have taken place in the last two millennia?
You speak often about the need to channel our passions correctly in healthy directions, lest they lead us to dangerous places. But how and who is to decide what are healthy and appropriate channels? What does constructive passion look like? Some feel passion should be channeled towards announcing the Rebbe as Moshiach, while others feel it should be channeled towards demonstrating against Zionists. While we are told that Torah and sages are what determine the appropriateness of our passions, everyone believes that they are interpreting the Torah correctly. How can we talk about channeling passion properly if not everyone agrees on the definition of ‘properly’?
How do we deal with loneliness that comes along with growing old? What is the difference between TV and unrestricted internet? This episode will also follow up on previously discussed topics, including Yom Ha’atzmaut, Shabbas Mevarchim and more.
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in last year’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Self-control from the Essence of Your Soul” by Aryeh Gurewitz, “Apathy: The Incurable Disease” by Hadassah Silberstien, and “Maternal Mental Illness: From Care-giver to Care-receiver” by Adam Zagoria-Moffet. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: In Likkutei Torah on this week’s Parsha (48b), the Alter Rebbe explains that the curses in this week’s Parsha of Bechukosai are actually “hidden kindness.” Can you please elucidate this idea in plain English?
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 Bechukosai and Mevarchim Sivan
· Why are some people born with physical disabilities?
· Does the Torah discriminate against them?
· How do we know if passion is being channeled properly?
· What’s the secret to aging gracefully and with dignity?
· Is Facebook more appropriate for adults than for children?
· Is there a difference between TV and the internet?
· Feedback and follow-up:
– Shabbas Mevarchim
– R’ Yisroel Aryeh Leib
· Chassidus Question: How can we understand in simple terms that the frightening “curses” in Parshas Bechukosai are actually high levels of chassodim (kindness)?
· MyLife Essays: Self-control from the Essence of Your Soul; Apathy: The Incurable Disease; Maternal Mental Illness: From Care-giver to Care-receiver
In what has now become a staple in so 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.
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
If you value MyLife: Chassidus Applied, please subscribe to our youtube channel of the same name, to help keep these videos coming and to share them with others!