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On Studying Chassidus: Chapter Sixteen

On Studying Chassidus: Chapter Sixteen

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In any field of study, mastery and understanding depends on the character and method of effort expended in its study. Without question, through mental exertion one will successfully plumb the depths of wisdom. Those engaged in intellectual pursuits may be assured that through genuine, unstinting devotion, they will attain their goals.

It is written: From ayin [lit. “where”] comes wisdom, and where is the place of understanding. 1 The commentary Metzudot David explains that wisdom has no physical place-source with whose ending wisdom must end. Undoubtedly, he includes understanding in this explanation. “Where is the place of understanding,” the creative sources of wisdom and understanding with whose ending their products must also end. The sources are not tangible or physical, subject to termination and destruction like physical objects. Hence, wisdom and understanding have no end.

This thought is elaborated generously in Chasidus. It is illustrated palpably to those sensitive individuals who conscientiously examine their abilities and characters, their worship and development in growth, and the awakening and illumination of their latent powers.

Thus did our holy forebears, the leaders of Chabad, broaden the path of the soul’s progress until it became a highway, based on intellectual conviction and authentic and profound feeling.

Footnotes
Translated by Zalman I. Posner. Rabbi Posner (1927-2014) was a noted author and lecturer. He was rabbi of Congregation Sherith Israel of Nashville, Tennessee, for 53 years and co-director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Nashville.
A Chassidic discourse by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch.
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