Chassidus Perspective

When to Speak Up

Even if we’re correct, the Torah still asserts that one should act she’lo lishmah in anticipation of doing it for the proper reasons in the future, so why shame him for doing the right thing?

We must also avoid falling into Zimri’s trap of attempting to diminish Torah’s severity out of concern for the fate of those who sin. The Rambam condemns those who avoid linking tragedies to particular transgressions, never mind those who react by claiming that these actions are permitted!

Hiskashrus Today: Part 2

Even if you can’t be a shliach for 24 hours a day, be a shliach for some amount of time. But you must be a real shliach during that time.

Everyone must take upon himself to do mivtzoim, to work on various things like spreading chassidus or spreading yiddishkeit… No matter what your job is, you must know that you’re a soldier, there’s no ‘I have no energy today’.

It’s not our business to think about the things that Hashem does, and to offer explanations for them; our job is to know one thing, “yotzei l’milchemes beis dovid”, to enter the Rebbe’s army, and that’s all.

Questions often come from a lack of knowledge. If we’d learn the maamorim with the sichos we have from the Rebbe, and especially if we’d learn the igros kodesh which the Rebbe wrote, then we can see the Rebbe’s approach to various things from those letters.

It’s not really a matter of quantity, it could even be ten minutes, but those ten minutes must be done right. Learn something of the Rebbe’s Torah every day.


Hiskashrus Today: Part 1

The majority of the young generation is excited about learning another sicha and another maamar… It’s the adults that come and confuse them with questions.

If we can speak of how a simple Jew is watching and is interested in seeing how his home is doing, how much more so that a tzadik, and especially a shepherd of Israel, is completely involved in what’s happening with the sheep of his flock.

How does one Jew care about all of these things? The answer is: The head, the soul, gives everything, and the head feels everything that’s happening in every limb, and that’s what matters to it.

A Luminous Home

Every spiritual act is limited by the person experiencing it, whereas mitzvos are where Hashem placed Himself, allowing Himself to be reached, and those are his quarters.

Some might argue that only our actions matter, and that there’s no need for chassidus and avoda; but in truth, davening physically from a siddur must be complemented by avoda.


In this World

Calev responded to their concerns by stating “lachmeinu heim,” they are our bread: Not only won’t we be consumed by this land, but, if Hashem wishes, we will consume it and turn it into a vehicle for holiness.

We cannot think that we can only transcend teva when we’re avoiding our everyday earthly lives, and that Torah’s instructions (particularly about integrity in business) fall by the wayside when we’re occupied with earning a living by natural means.


Connected Forever

Hashem didn’t want our subjugation to originate within ourselves, naaseh v’nishma, since that would mean our shibud would remain incomplete, and He therefore tilted the mountain and gave us no choice in the matter.

The biggest source of happiness is that Hashem chose us to this degree. This is the pinnacle of Matan Torah; beyond naaseh v’nishma, the biggest source of joy is from the absence of choice.


Double Subservience

Super-rational mitzvos like the para aduma can similarly be observed on an intellectual foundation without ever being understood. In this case, our kabalas ol, acting without understanding, isn’t predicated purely on Hashem’s authority but on our own sechel.

Nishma v’naaseh is putting ourselves and our opinions first, in the style of the Yevanim, while naaseh v’nishma places kabalas ol at the foundation of our actions and experiences.


Preparing for Matan Torah

Our souls are ordinarily confined within our bodies, no matter how refined those are; even the souls of tzaddikim gemurim are restricted by their bodies while vested there.

Hashem descended during Matan Torah, and likewise we must engage other Jews and empower them to observe Torah and mitzvos. We shouldn’t leave our bodies; we must receive the Torah in them.


Physical Reward

Life, however, isn’t a detail; it’s the entirety of our existence. A live person is the polar opposite of a dead person, while a foolish man, while not ideal, isn’t less of a human.

The basis of our existence as Jews is Torah and mitzvos, “ki heim chayeinu,” our very life, and it touches at our very essence. And so when a Jew owns a tree, and he studies Torah intensively, it bears fruit.


To Love with Kabalas Ol?

It isn’t enough that the yoke prevents the ox from kicking, the yirah must be present and underlying the beneficial act of plowing as well.

When someone loves another, he isn’t nullifying himself, he’s expressing his affection and his desire to connect; yirah is submission, ahava is expression.


Transforming the Self

Hashem didn’t merely inspire us to follow Him, He also infuses our avodah of sefirah with the ability to reach greater heights, and so the two approaches complement each other.

The Heavenly inspiration alone will have no effect on the animal soul; and so not sufficing with hodaah, we go through davening until we reach ”v’ahavta.


When We Understand

When we wish to be redeemed from our personal mitzrayim, the first step is bittul, which is related to emunah, and matzah is the ‘bread of faith.’

“The need to understand everything is enslavement to yeshus and gaavah. Not to be a baal gaavah is to be honest and think less of oneself, to realize that Torah is Torah and that Hashem is the boss, that we are Hashem’s avadim. “


Continuous Freedom

Since leaving Egypt we can no longer experience true slavery, we always sense freedom. Hashem removed us from our limitations, and we’re now His servants.

We live in bodies below, subject to slavery, yet we remain indentured to Hashem. We always sense a connection to something greater, beyond our existence. That’s a perpetual miracle.


Restraining the Love

“We should aspire to be connected with Hashem to the extent that we must be warned to avoid k’los ha’nefesh.”


Conduct Does Matter

Ahavas Yisroel isn’t an acceptance of the person’s behavior. The Rebbe did tell the fellow that he loves him as a Yid, and invited him to celebrate his birthday together through learning Torah and doing mitzvos.”


What is Torah?

“The giving of the Torah was a revelation of Hashem, while creating the world was an act of constriction and descent on His part; the point in giving the Torah is that this world becomes a place where Hashem Himself comfortable.”

Transcendent Yet Impactful

“Shabbos isn’t too removed but doesn’t greatly affect the mundane, while the eighth is completely transcendent yet has a thorough impact.”

A Commitment Beyond Understanding

“We drink another cup, and say l’chaim again, we make another resolution to increase our Torah and mitzvos, more of Baruch Mordechai, and that aveiros should be even more unthinkable, more Arur Haman.”

Making the Inspiration Last

We need to do something ourselves, and when we do, we become a vessel. When we become a vessel, then it has an effect, but if we feel inspired yet do nothing ourselves, then it just peters out.

“You should offer your korbon," we all have to bring ourselves closer, and when we do that, that’s the best advice on how to get the Heavenly inspiration to last.

The Value of an Uninspired Mitzva

You’re under the impression that you’re just committing an act, but you have a neshama, and that neshama is connected to Hashem.