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Can You Make Chassidus Practical

This article was originally published on on January 27, 2016.

The Meaningful Life Center, directed by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, has announced the second MyLife: Essay Contest, with grand prize of $10,000.

Take The MyLife Challenge: Can You Make Chassidus Practical?
The Meaningful Life Center Offers $10k To Best Essay Winner

NEW YORK, January 24, 2016: Following Yud Shvat, and to mark the 100th episode and the anniversary of the acclaimed MyLife: Chassidus Applied webcast series, the Meaningful Life Center has announced the second MyLife: Essay Contest, once again awarding $10,000 to the winning essay which applies a concept or idea in Chassidus to solve a contemporary life issue or challenge. Contest details can be found online

The MyLife: Essay Contest saw incredible success in its inaugural year, with over 500 essay submissions from men and women of all ages and all walks of life—engaging and motivating a new generation of leaders and thinkers to demonstrate the life-changing methodologies found in Chassidus.

Most amazing was the mid-contest discovery of the Rebbe’s letter suggesting the writing of essays: In connection with the tenth of Shvat coming upon us, it should be suggested to the girls, at least the older ones among them, that each one should write an essay about some topic related to the work (avodah) of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, his talks, etc. etc. (Igros Kodesh, vol. 10, pp. 238-239).

This year’s contest kicked off Sunday, January 24 (Tu B’Shvat) and is open to the public, offering an equal opportunity for anyone to win, regardless of age or background. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of some of the most distinguished Torah and Chassidic scholars in the world.

Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Dean of the Meaningful Life Center (MLC) explains the objectives of this unprecedented competition. “Last year’s contest was meant to provoke the public to invest energy and creativity into tapping Chassidus for practical tools to live the most fulfilling life possible. And the response was incredible! The sheer number of essay submissions was mind-boggling, not to mention the diversity of the applicants, both in age and background. The essays themselves were an incredible show of talent; many deep and insightful ideas were presented in a clear and eloquent manner. We quickly realized that this was a project whose outcomes were far reaching. We cultivated young talent and demonstrated how everyone is capable of applying Chassidus and winning.

Last year’s tremendous success made it obvious that we must build on the momentum and launch a second contest, with the goal of reaching many more people. One of the areas of expansion include creating a special Israeli division to handle the many essays presented in Hebrew.”

Anyone over 15 years old is eligible to submit an essay at The contest runs until February 24 (15 Adar 1). Essays may be written in English, Hebrew or Yiddish and will be judged blindly,* as outlined in the contest rules and guidelines, which can be downloaded and read on the contest landing page. The objective and focus of the essay is to demonstrate how Chassidus addresses the most fundamental human needs, from the emotional to the psychological and the spiritual, from finding happiness, inner peace, and passion to alleviating anxiety, fear, and other impediments.

The Meaningful Life Center will award three prizes—sponsored by an anonymous benefactor—for the best essays selected by the judges: A $10,000 first prize, a $3600 second prize, and a $1000 third prize. The winning entries will be published and publicized.

Rabbi Jacobson urges everyone to enter, remarking, “This is the only platform where adults are being financially rewarded for applying Chassidus and teaching its indispensable secrets to living a successful, happy, and meaningful life. Obviously, the greatest reward for yefutzu mayonosech chutza is the coming of Moshiach. But why shouldn’t we demonstrate the value of applying Chassidus on material terms by awarding the winners with a respectable prize?”

MLC is dedicated to presenting Chassidus as a blueprint for life. “The Rebbeim invested their entire lives to teach us Chassidus. They left us with hundreds of volumes of treasures—a comprehensive blueprint of our spiritual DNA and the building blocks of existence. The world’s best kept secret. Our ultimate goal is that the applied Chassidus this initiative will produce will make a significant contribution in fulfilling the mission of the Rebbeim: Bringing Moshiach through spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward!”

*The judges will not know the identity of the entrant when reading and evaluating an essay submission.

To view the contest rules and guidelines or submit an essay, visit All submissions are due by 11:59pm on February 24, 2016.

Contact: Sruli Baron,

The Meaningful Life Center