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The landscape of classic Jewish thought is painted with a finite set of themes and motifs...

Building Blocks of Jewish Thought

Building Blocks of Jewish Thought

A lexicon for dabblers and explorers alike

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An ongoing project to provide a concise overview for some of the most vital theme-words and motifs of Jewish thought, as well as their practical application.

Each entry is sprinkled with links, branching out to the vast library of essays, audio and video at Chabad.org.



The Not-thing
The other day I realized that I hadn't seen G-d in quite a while -- probably not since childhood... Where did I misplace Him?
The Underlying Reality
The most puzzling thing about G‑dliness is that it can be hidden from us. The true reality of everything that exists can be hidden from those very creatures that emerge from it.
Beyond Wisdom
Torah is how the Creator shares the purpose, intent, and desire behind all that exists.
The State of Being Connected
The only way a Creator can connect with a creature is by a simple request.
A Labor of the Heart
Not prayer, not worship, but an intimate sharing of heart and soul. A communion. Reaching deeper and yet deeper and finding there G‑d Himself.
Elusive Yet Vital
Before we can understand what is spiritual, we first have to know what is physical.
The Soul of Judaism
If this is a secret wisdom, why are we teaching it?
Teachings from the core essence
The Baal Shem Tov’s teachings are like a diamond of many different facets, and yet it is one glistening essence. And from that essence comes life.
Do-It-Yourself Judaism
Chabad is a cognitive approach that has faith in the divine spark within each of us, and empowers us to find that spark and fan its flames. Not through coercion, not through guilt or tirades from the pulpit, nor by promises of instant enlightenment does Chabad reach the Jew, but by facilitating each one in his or her own path.
Being human all the way
The tzaddik is a human being like all of us. Because, essentially, all of us are divine.
Beyond Belief
We’re used to thinking of faith as a strategy for people who can’t think for themselves...
Real Confidence
There are attitudes that are the outcome of experience, and experiences that are the outcome of attitude.
The Ultimate User Interaction
Hashgacha is a kind of two-way interplay between Creator and creation, whereby each one responds and interacts with the other.
Creation Without Cause
The immediate implication of true creation is that nothing “must be.”
And is it good or bad?
Standard translations include audacity, insolence, impudence, gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption and arrogance—but chutzpah is in a class of its own.
The landscape of classic Jewish thought is painted with a finite set of themes and motifs...