The Winners of the 3rd Annual MyLife Essay Contest! Chassidus Applied to Yud Alef Nisan; Why Did Pesach Become Unaffordable? Why Do We Refer to Non-Jews as ‘Dust of Earth’? Is There a Difference Between a Healthy and an Unhealthy Baal Teshuva?
MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 157, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Special Yud Alef Nissan Edition
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This special Yud Alef Nissan edition of MyLife: Chassidus Applied, honoring the Rebbe’s 115th birthday, will be fittingly dedicated to discussing matters directly related to the Rebbe.
In honor of this special day this week’s broadcast will also include the much-anticipated announcement of the 2017 MyLife: Chassidus Applied Essay Contest winners! Hundreds of essays have been evaluated by a team of distinguished judges and have been narrowed down to the three highest-ranking. The first second and third place winners will be awarded the prize money of $10,000, $3,600, and $1,000 respectively.
How can I make this Yud Alef Nisan a meaningful one? I don’t want it to be just another year passing, so what specific lessons and inspiration can I draw from this day?
This generation of millennials is faced with a totally different task than our parents were. Our parents grew up going to Farbrengens, spending Tishrei with the Rebbe, having yechidus and going by the Rebbe to get dollars. It seems that it was easier for them to foster a palpable connection to the Rebbe and therefore also easier for them to imbue their children with a sense of Hiskashrus. How will parents now who didn’t grow up seeing the Rebbe imbue their children with the same sense of Hiskashrus? It seems like our hiskashrus isn’t as strong as our parents so how will our children grow up with feeling toward the Rebbe if we’re the “impoverished” ones feeding it to them?
With Pesach just around the corner, the expenses of the Yom Tov are weighing down on many families. Is Pesach, and Jewish holidays in general, supposed to cost families so much? If the cost is high because our spending actually enhances the mitzvah of Yom Tov, then it is easier to swallow. But how are we to know if this is what G-d intended Yomim Tovim to be like, or perhaps we have made standards and therefore expenses higher on our own? Or even worse, perhaps this is simply due to the price gouging of vendors taking advantage of the demands of Pesach consumers?
As a child of Baalei Teshuva I often wonder what this severe break from my parents pasts did to their psyches and self-esteem? And how it impacted us as their children? Is it indeed healthy to completely reject one’s past even if you find the path of truth? Is there a healthy vs. an unhealthy way of becoming a baal teshuva?
In the preamble to morning davening, we quote the prophet Isaiah, "Indeed, the nations are like a drop (that's left over) from (the bottom of a) bucket (of water, which people don't bother to collect. They are) considered (as meaningless) as the dust on scales, (which people don't bother to wipe off before weighing something.) How can the prophet describe humanity as leftovers and meaningless? From what we learn it would seem all of humanity has a role to play in our world, and certainly it is hard to fathom that over 99.99% of humanity is meaningless. What did the prophet mean and why do we quote him in davening on a daily basis?”
These are among the relevant issues Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 157th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. He will also follow up previously covered topics of mikvah, organ donation and disciplining children by hitting.
And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Can you please explain the world of Tohu? We’re taught that in this world there was shviras hakelim, the shattering of the containers. But why would G-d create a world in the first place which will explode? If the problem was an imbalance, then why didn’t G-d create it properly balanced and avoid the shattering in the first place? Why would G-d create an imbalanced world?
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 Yud Alef Nisan- 115th birthday
· Lessons for Shabbas Hagadol
· How can I imbue children with Hiskashrus if I didn’t grow up seeing the Rebbe?
· Why did Pesach become unaffordable?
· Is there a healthy vs. an unhealthy way of becoming a baal teshuva?
· Why do we derogatorily refer to non-Jews in davening as “dust of the earth”? Didn’t G-d create them with a role to play as well?
· Mikvah for men: follow-up
· Organ donation: follow-up
· Hitting a child: feedback
· Chassidus Question: Tohu: Why create a world to destroy it?
· MyLife Essays: The winners of the 3rd annual MyLife: Chassidus Applied Essay Contest!
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