So how relevant is Chassidus? Bestselling author Simon Jacobson is offering to answer your personal and pressing questions.
By COLlive reporter
The recent discussion over whether Torah and Chassidus encompass the answers to life’s most pressing questions has propelled one rabbi to take action.
“The recent surge of interest and the outpouring of so many hearts and souls, demonstrates the deep thirst people have today for direction coming from Chassidus,” says Rabbi Simon Jacobson, bestselling author of “Toward a Meaningful Life,” the spiritual road map based on the teachings of the Rebbe.
“The Rebbeim bestowed us with all the answers to our personal dilemmas, as the Alter Rebbe writes in his introduction to Tanya. Yet, with many people hurting today, there is clearly a deep emotional dissonance between these teachings and their life struggles.
“As we stand between Chof Dalet Teves (concluding the bicentennial of the Alter Rebbe’s yahrzeit) and Yud Shevat, what better time is there to create a dialogue between Chassidus and our human condition, by addressing our most pressing challenges with the core ideas of Chassidus.
“As in all matters, every individual should consult their trusted Rabbi and mashpia and follow their guidelines. But above all, we should see the recent events and passionate response of so many as essentially a wake-up call. Many people are in pain and are desperately seeking relief and response to their challenges.
“After over two centuries of mesiras nefesh of the Rebbeim for Chassidus and Chassidim, the time has come,” declared Rabbi Jacobson, “to reclaim the most precious stone of the crown given to us to both prevent problems and to heal from any that come our way.”
“I think we have here a true historic opportunity to rise to the occasion and demonstrate the relevance of chassidus to our lives (and at least, not to sit silent and just be on the defensive),” he told COLlive.com.
To put that into play, Jacobson’s Meaningful Life Center is launching a new webcast series of him addressing anything and everything on your minds and in your hearts—from the perspective of Torah and Chabad Chassidus.
The public is invited to submit questions about any personal issue, spiritual or moral dilemma to the email: firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions will be kept absolutely confidential, Jacobson says.
After reviewing the questions, he will then respond to them during a live webcast. Any questions left unanswered, as well as future questions submitted, will be addressed in the following episodes of this series.
(As the Crown Heights rabbis ruled in the past, cases of emergency should be immediately directed to the authorities, and when dealing with physical or mental illness, professionals should be sought.)
“By no means can or should an hour webcast (or even many hours) serve as a comprehensive solution to life challenges. Many issues, especially serious ones, require personal, one-on-one customized intervention,” Rabbi Jacobson emphasizes.
“What we want to do is demonstrate the relevance of Chassidus to our personal lives, and to open up a candid conversation about these matters,” says Jacobson, who worked as a ‘choizer’ to transcribe the Rebbe’s teachings.
“We want to show how the Rebbeim provided us with a comprehensive blueprint of the human psyche as a microcosm of the cosmos, and offered us all the guidance we need to live the healthiest possible life and build nurturing homes and families, bringing up the healthiest possible children, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.”
“Any question is welcome so don’t hold back from asking about your personal life, married life, addiction, anger, jealousy, forgiveness, depression – no holds barred. I also invite questions about the approach of Chassidus to any given issue. We are confident that Chassidus provides a powerful response or antidote to any subject.”
The pilot launch will air live on Sunday, 11 Shevat, January 12, at 8:00-9:00pm Eastern Time on COLlive.com, and will be archived and available afterward to view. There is no charge for viewing or participating.
Rabbi Jacobson, a scholar of the Rebbe’s teachings and a trusted counselor of many, also authored “A Spiritual Guide to Counting the Omer” and “60 Days” and hundreds of articles capturing the hearts and souls of many with the profound and intimate relevance of Torah and Chassidus to our personal lives and relationships.
With his unique combination of a keen and sensitive understanding of the human condition while being firmly grounded in undiluted Chassidus, he applies Jewish thought to psycho-spiritual issues and contemporary life.
Send in your questions and tune in this coming Sunday.