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Samplings of the Rebbe's philosophy of Torah and Chassidism

Essays

Essays

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A famous talk by the Rebbe analyzes the lives of Noah, Abraham and Moses as milestones in humanity's journey from an instinctive selfhood to a true concept of "love" for a one's fellow. We also encounter the basis of the Rebbe's groundbreaking approach to "outreach" and how to relate to those who are supposedly spiritually "inferior" to oneself
The Torah devotes one chapter to its account of the creation of the universe, three chapters to its description of the revelation at Mount Sinai, and eleven chapters to the story of the Exodus. In contrast, no less than thirteen chapters are devoted to the making of the Mishkan
Does packaging the divine truths of Torah in "marketable" slogans and media violate their integrity? Is there anything positive to be found in the superficiality that characterizes the sound-bite generation?
The Jewish view on aging and retirement
The Rebbe's revolutionary view on aging and "retirement," and -- by extension -- on life, work and productivity.
"See, I have set before you life and goodness, and death and evil... Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse... And you shall choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:15-19). These three sentences represent three dimensions of choice -- compelled choice, random choice, and essential choice
The Torah was first given carved in stone and then transcribed with ink upon a parchment scroll. What is the deeper significance of these two forms of Torah?
The classical interpretation is that Leah and Dinah’s behavior is being condemned as unbecoming the Jewish woman’s virtue of “innerness.” But a careful analysis of the source texts shows the very opposite to be the case . . .
What is sin? The Midrash records a “panel discussion” featuring a philosopher, a prophet, the Torah and G-d.
How the technological advances of recent times are connected to approach of the Messianic Era
What is time? And if we understood what time is—and what are the “windows” of timelessness within our existence—what practical difference would this make in our lives?
We all know what it does, but what does it say?
Sages and mystics explore the primordial "mind" of G-d to ask: Is it the Torah that makes the Jew a Jew, or is it the Jew who makes the Torah a Torah?
In his daily life, the Jew must be a Joseph; but his education must be provided by a Judah.
Infancy, self-sufficiency and synthesis -- the story of mankind from the Garden of Eden to Noah’s ark to Mount Sinai.
Why is the belief in Moshiach and the Redemption so central to Judaism? What makes it one of the "thirteen principles" of the Jewish faith upon which its entire edifice rests?
Sometimes it all seems so hopeless. You can feed a hungry child, yet millions more remain hungry. For every good deed you do, so many evil deeds are committed . . .
Noah’s dispatch of the dove from the ark: passive and active anticipation.
What do you do if you have a vision, and are determined to see that vision implemented in the life of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth?
The human psyche is home to two contrasting drives: a striving for freedom, and an impulse to submit to authority. Which should be given priority over the other? Or, to otherwise state the question: in what sort of environment would the Torah prefer to see the Jew—as a member of a free society, or as the subject of an authoritarian regime?
By law, the menorah stood in a chamber into which only kohanim (priests) were permitted entry. But the law also states that an ordinary person may light the menorah. What is the point—and lesson—of this legal paradox?
It's probably the oldest question in the history of human thought. It's surely the most disturbing, the most frequently asked and the least satisfactorily answered. Why, oh why, do bad things happen to good people?
You can't build a lasting building out of half-baked bricks. You can't assemble an accurate timepiece unless each of its gears, springs and balance wheels has first been honed to precision. But people, says the Lubavitcher Rebbe, are not bricks
“The world, and all it contains,” states the Psalmist, “is G‑d’s." It would seem that the Eighth Commandment is superfluous—since in the final analysis, it’s not possible to steal anything.
What if someone said to you, "I love you, but I don't like your children"? You'd probably say: "You don't know anything about who and what I am, and you don't know what love is, either!"
Even if we manage to avoid saying outright untruths, there seems to be something intrinsically dishonest in the process we call “education.”
I think I know why the Rebbe liked this story so much. The child's question and the grandfather's explanation express two extremes, whose contrast and synthesis are a hallmark of the Rebbe's approach to life
A Torah Perspective
Under America’s criminal justice system, we have incarcerated more than two million of our fellow citizens in federal, state and county facilities. In contrast, the concept of prison does not appear anywhere in Judaism...
The Rebbe’s Advice
The Rebbe’s guidance ranges from simple, practical suggestions to more advanced meditations that address the root causes of our anger.
How do we deal with the "Wicked Son"? And who is the elusive "Fifth Son" that's not even mentioned in the Haggadah?
One can calculate in advance when eclipses will occur. Yet the Talmud appears to say that they happen as a result of human failings. Which is it?
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