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MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 165
Should We Allow Our Young Boys to Go to the Mikveh? What Does Chassidus Say About Self-Affliction? How Should Families Deal with a Relative Who Intermarried? Is it Healthy for Parents to Need Validation from Children?

MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 165, with Rabbi Simon Jacobson

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Should we allow our young boys to go to the mikveh? We are so careful with inculcating our children with a healthy sense of tznius. As such, some parents feel very uncomfortable sending their young sons to the mikvah. How would you address this?

Is there an underlying spiritual message to be found in all of the Talmud, including sections that are very “technical” and “dry”?

There seems to be a disparity in Chassidus regarding self-affliction. On one hand, the Rebbeim, beginning from the Baal Shem Tov, have taught us that our avodah today does not consist of weakening the yetzer hara by punishing and weakening our bodies. On the other hand, we find stories of the Rebbeim themselves afflicting their physical bodies as part of their avoda. Also, we find sources in Gemara clearly stating that being in a weak physical state allows for proper Torah learning. How do we reconcile the two seemingly contradictory approaches?

What role should a family play in addressing a family member considering intermarriage, or one who is already intermarried? Should we be actively oppose it, and encourage divorce if the couple is already married? Is it a mitzva to discourage intermarriage and to stop a couple from being wed?

These are among the relevant issues that will be covered in this 165th episode of Chassidus Applied. Rabbi Jacobson will also discuss: the need for children to validate their parents; applying Chassidus in schools and follow up of topics discussed on earlier episodes.

Rabbi Jacobson will also review the following essays submitted in the last MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Wanting Desire” by Mushka Silberberg; “How to Kick Bad Habits to the Curb” by Rivkah Shanowitz; and “The Dynamics of Happiness” by Rafi Chemel. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.

And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Can you please clarify what is the primary avodah for this generation? In one place in Tanya he says that prayer is the primary avodah of our times. In another place he says it is tzedakah? Which one is it?

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 B’haalosecho

· Should we allow our young boys to go to the mikveh?

· Is there a deeper spiritual meaning in all sections of the Gemara?

· What is our attitude to self-affliction? Do we or don’t we believe in depriving our physical bodies?

· Is it appropriate for parents to demand validation from children?

· What is the role of family when it comes to intermarriage?

· Feedback and follow up:

o Applying Chassidus

o School strike

o Enjoying G-d’s world

· Chassidus question: What is the primary avoda of this generation – prayer or charity?

· MyLife Essays: Wanting Desire, How to Kick Bad Habits to the Curb, The Dynamics of Happiness

In what has now become a staple in 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

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10 Sivan 5777