Chassidus Perspective

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.

Automatic Business

The business is not an intermediary. The business has no authority. The entire concept is that it so rose in Hashem’s will, for whatever reason, that livelihood should come through business.

Different in Everything

A Yid strives to find ways to derive greater pleasure from Torah, more enjoyment in mitzvos, and since one competes with the other, he rejoices that he will have less worldly pleasure.

The Selflessness of the Shepherds of Israel

We have no inkling of how dearly a true Shepherd of Israel cherishes every single Jew. We have no inkling of how utterly he sets aside every lofty facet of his life to save a fellow Jew, both in gashmiyus and in ruchniyus.

Pages