MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 95, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
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Why does a married woman have to cover her hair? What is the source for this? Does it matter what kind of hair covering is used – a kerchief, hat or sheitel (wig)? Is it appropriate to wear very attractive sheitels? Is covering the hair a way of making someone appear unattractive?
In its inimitable promise to candidly address all issues, this week’s episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied will respond to the many questions people have about hair covering, in context of the overall question: What is the significance of hair in the first place? Why is Judaism so concerned with it? And why do we find seemingly contradictory attitudes to hair: On one hand married women cover their hair, yet before marriage they may grow it long and leave it uncovered. Men, on the other hand, are commanded to not to shave their facial hair (payot), yet they trim the hair on top of their heads, and that hair is left exposed (except for the kippah). For the first three years we do not cut a boy’s hair, but then at three we do. Levites (in the wilderness) were commanded to shave their heads. A Metzora (leper) must shave his hair before he can be purified. A Nazirite on the other hand must not cut his hair. Indeed, the power of Samson the Nazirite stemmed from his hair. Is hair a positive or negative thing?
Other topics to be discussed include: How important is chemistry in dating and marriage? Should we be concerned If someone doesn’t “feel something” for the other? What is your process of deriving advice from the Rebbe’s answer to an individual while knowing that this advice was specifically geared to the recipient and not necessarily a universal directive? What can I do to inspire my children to be passionate of what is important instead of nonsense?
Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the MyLife: Chassidus Applied contest: “Facing Difficult Situations” by Meir New; “Discovering Reality for Fun” by Shlomo Chaim Kesselman; “Vitality is Movement” by Mali New. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week will be a continuation from episodes 93 and 94, Part 3 of understanding and applying the tzimtzum to our lives: Can you explain the difference between the two opinions in interpreting the tzimtzum – literally or not literally, tzimtzum k’pshuto or not k’pshuto. I’ve also heard that the Rebbe revolutionized the approach in Chassidus to understanding tzimtzum and perpetual creation, by saying that G-d, Who is kol yochol (omnipotent), could have created existence via tzimtzum k’pshuto (G-dliness being literally removed from our reality) and in way that the universe did not need to be renewed perpetually (hischadshus b’chol regah v’regah). Indeed, this perspective, held by a number of great sages, seems more logical. The reason that the Alter Rebbe writes otherwise is only due to the fact that Alter Rebbe received from his teachers that the tzimtzum is not k’pshuto and that creation is perpetually renewed, which compelled the Alter Rebbe to explain the concepts in logical terms. Can you elaborate on this and how this idea developed in the Rebbe’s teachings?
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 10th of Teives and Vayechi
Why do married women cover their hair?
How important is chemistry in dating and marriage?
Deriving answers from the Rebbe’s advice to individuals
Inspiring distracted children
Chassidus Question: Tzimtzum K’pshuto and Perpetual Creation Part III
Chassidus Applied Essays: Facing Difficult Situations, Discovering Reality for Fun, Vitality is Movement
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 MP3’s for listening on the go.
Questions may be submitted anonymously at www.appliedchassidus.com.