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MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 161
How Is Abstaining from Enjoying Hashem's Beautiful World Not an Affront to Him? Can Creativity be Taught? What would the Rebbe Say About a School Strike? What is Netzach in Our Personal Lives?

MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 161, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson

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What is the practical relevance of Pesach Sheini in our lives? Jews always have a second chance and the opportunity to do teshuva, so what does Pesach Sheini add to this message?

What is the significance of Yud Gimmel Iyar, the 65th yartzeit of the Rebbe’s brother, Reb Yisroel Aryeh Leib?

“How can abstaining from enjoying G-d's beautiful world be a way of serving Him? When I look at and smell a beautiful rose bush, I think of what a visually beautiful and amazing scented world G-d created. When I have delicious food or drink, I thank Him for the wonderful tastes He created and our taste buds which allow us to appreciate it. Watching a beautiful sunset or sunrise, hiking along beautiful trails, swimming, and so on - it is all a celebration of life and the beautiful world G-d created. Abstaining from the world He created seems antithetical to serving Him and appreciating the beautiful world He created; it almost seems like an affront to Him. Did he really create such an amazingly rich and diverse world for us to eat dry bread with salt and sleep on the hard floor? Didn't He create a world to be generous with His creations and benefit them with His goodness and kindness? Isn't it almost a proverbial slap in His face to abstain from it?”

How can people nurture and develop attributes that don’t come naturally to them? “I recognize within myself that I have a very hard time accessing my chochma – my creativity; my ability to conceive and innovate new ideas. While I often think of myself as more analytical, I know my life suffers by not being more capable of chochma inspiration. What exercises can I do to open my mind to be more creative? Is creativity innate or can it be learned?

In response to the recent school strike, parents question whether this was the right thing to do: What would the Rebbe say about a school strike, putting hundreds of kids out of school for weeks? My daughter is emotionally scarred from this ordeal, she goes to bed crying, and has not had a proper structure for a month. Is what the teachers are doing the correct chassidus applied approach? At what point is it a necessary step? Hopefully the strike will be over before you have a chance to address this, but we would still like to know what chassidus says about this because it's important that teachers, the board and administration know so they can react properly should the issue come up again.

The importance of having a mashpia has been discussed time and time again. The stress the Rebbe placed on acquiring one, the importance of having an objective voice of reason, how to find the right mashpia etc. But how should one deal with his worries about troubling a mashpia for small matters? What should one do when he/she feels bad to take up the precious time of someone else?

Rabbi Jacobson will address these relevant issues in this week’s 161st episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. Other topics that will be discussed include: follow up discussion to sanctifying the permissible, applying Chof Ches Nissan and selling a Sefer Torah to non-observant communities.

Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the last MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “G-d and Pain: How to Be Vulnerable and Trust Again” by Avremi Weinberg; “Dealing with Hate Issues,” by Tonni Shmuckler; and “The Power of Self Esteem” by Menachem Mendel Wolff. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.

And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Since this is the week of netzach in the Omer counting, can you please explain the significance of netzach in our personal lives? In addition: The Frierdiker Rebbe’s Maamorim of Pesach 5709 explain that the last and final work in golus is with netzach and hod. Basi Legani 5710 also emphasizes the power of netzach. Can you elaborate and help us apply that idea and its relevance to us today? Also: if netzach means victory, why is it not the final sefirah, indicating the final victory over all?

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 Emor

· Yud Gimmel Iyar: 65th yartzeit of Reb Yisroel Aryeh Leib

· Lessons from Pesach Sheini

· Can creativity be taught even to someone who isn’t naturally creative?

· Isn’t abstaining from enjoyment an affront to Hashem’s creation?

· What would the Rebbe say about a school strike?

· I hate to bother my mashpia!

· Sanctifying the permissible (follow-up)

· Chof Ches Nissan (follow-up)

· Selling a Sefer Torah (follow-up)

· Chassidus Question: What is netzach in our personal lives? Why are netzach and hod the final avoda of golus (as explained by the Frierdiker Rebbe)?

· MyLife Essays: G-d and Pain: How to Be Vulnerable and Trust Again, Dealing with Hate Issues, The Power of Self-Esteem

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


11 Iyar 5777