Chassidus Perspective

To Be Mundane

To see holiness only in the spiritual is to interact with Hashem in a limited, reduced fashion; the revelation of a far more powerful level of G-dliness enables us to connect with Hashem even in the mundane aspects of our lives.

Countering the Scoffers

When the identity of a Jewish child is at stake, when the ‘scoffers’ seek to sever his connection to Avraham, it is specifically Yitzchak, gevura, that which is concealed, that Hashem renders into Avraham, revelation.

A Time to Segregate

Even when we engage in everyday activities like eating or business, we must deem these the throwaway ‘gifts’ to our inner non-Jew, and give ‘everything we possess’ to ‘Yitzchak,’ our spiritual pursuits.

Just One Small Room

Mesiras nefesh isn’t measured by its scale but by its essential quality. To spend even a single minute on something for no purpose other than for Hashem is therefore reminiscent of the akeida.

A Whole Different Species

Hashem said “I will make you into a great nation,” because He introduced an entirely new creature, the Jewish nation, not merely advanced humans, but an entity of an utterly different kind.

Seeing Solutions

The Frierdiker Rebbe once said that when cleaning a precious object, one doesn’t exult in finding more dirt but in rendering it pristine.

Celebrating with the Jewish Torah

We aren’t rejoicing over the revealed parts of Torah, the things which we can comprehend, because that isn’t too different from competing fields of wisdom. We keep the Torah within its wrappings to signify that Torah as we know it is simply a vessel for the ‘aleph,’ and that is the source of our joy.

Unity in Practice Too

One can learn Tanya which explains that we’re only divided by our bodies but our souls are all united with Hashem, and proceed to love everyone as disembodied souls. But that’s not enough.

Deeper Than Teshuva

Being an ‘only son’ is so much more than always obeying, or catching ourselves when we forget and slip; it’s about the state of unity typical of father-son, even where no wishes were ever expressed in the first place.

Rosh Hashana: Coronating the King

Teshuva stems from the fact that, despite external conduct to the contrary, deep down we all desire to do Hashem’s Will and are bothered enough that it results in teshuva.

It’s only possible to feel guilty and repent if the king whose commands we’ve flouted is already king. Thus the prerequisite of teshuva is crowning Hashem as king.

 

The Path to Achdus

Every Jew has his unique advantage, an area where everyone else acknowledges his superiority, and that is why as a spiritual arev, a simple man being motzi a tzaddik actually does possess the more favorable dynamic.

The point is for the underlying oneness to translate into a reciprocal society, not ignoring worldly divisiveness, but tackling it and literally assisting each other on the basis of our true unified nature.

 

Chai Elul: When Hashem is Great

Comprehending G-dliness was now attainable within the framework of “a small book,” not just inside some incredible mind (‘expanding the hole’) or by compromising on the revelation (‘shrinking the elephant’). The ultimate kind of greatness is the ability to transcend space inside its very parameters.

Are We Divorced?

For a divorce to take hold, the woman must obtain the get outside of the husband’s property. How is it ever possible to find oneself outside of Hashem’s territory when His presence is everywhere?

We must remain aware that the ‘messenger’ isn’t actually responsible for our state of exile, and that the gentiles' spiritual source is actually aware that Hashem alone is responsible for our fate.

A Fruit Bearing Tree

There’s the lower sechel of practical behavior, like Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, and then there is the purer sechel of the theoretical discussions of the Gemara, which is deeper and higher.

What the amora truly meant by a ‘weak heart’ was that his midos weren’t on par with the level expected of him, and he therefore didn’t find it appropriate to engage in sechel, when the point was lacking.

Staying Out of Beis Din

We must focus during the day on Torah and mitzvos, only pausing during krias shma before sleeping to take stock. If that’s too hard, then it should be done once a week on Thursday night, or else once a month on erev rosh chodesh.

When we surpass our limitations, when we sit down and learn as if this is our full-time occupation, and we approach tefila and tzedaka with similar energy, then we aren’t subjected to din.

A Thought from Reb Levik

As children, when asked who our brachos were directed to, Abaye and Rava both replied that it was Hashem; Rava pointed at the roof, while Abaye went outside and gestured towards the heavens.

Just as the halacha always follows Rava, we must generally act within the parameters of nature and avoid relying on miracles; however, we must sometimes switch gears and rise to a higher level, to that of Abaye.

The Endless Voice

The differing eras during which these ideas appeared reflect a divinely pre-planned schedule, and are an expression of the never-ending quality of the “great voice.”

We must learn Torah and do mitzvos in a manner which penetrates the domem. Our heads understand, our hearts feel, but our ‘heels’ must also feel.

The Indestructible Suit

The first and second ‘garments’ were designed to be ‘ripped,’ since the first lacked our own input, while the second was constricted by our limitations.

It is this inseparable bond between these two templates which we are shown in a vision. The outcome of this exposure is that this ultimately becomes our actual nature, the third Beis HaMikdash becomes our reality.

Consolation and Mercy

If Hashem only related to us through chochma, we’d live in a flawless world, but that would just be G-dliness overruling our world’s properties. Dira b’tachtonim requires an initiative on our end, on our own terms.

Precisely because bina is overly occupied with sechel’s intricacies, the fact that everything has a counterpoint means that erring is likely. This is why there’s also a need for chochma, to be able to break through earthly limitations.

Who is Stronger?

On the one hand a vow is associated with lowliness, yet it invests holiness within an ordinary item. Restrictions may be a product of darker times, yet through instituting and observing them, we can reach higher than when they weren’t necessary.

As time goes on we lose that connection and stiffen, but that also imbues us with newfound strength, and the ‘descent’ into a state of mateh proves at the same time to be an ‘ascent’.

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