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The Chabad.org Blog

Introducing a New Audio Series

February 20, 2020 9:18 PM

Dear Reader,

This week we welcome the Jewish month of Adar. Every month possesses a distinct spiritual essence, and Adar contains the quality of transformative joy, as the Talmud teaches, “When the month of Adar enters, we increase in joy” (Taanit 29a).

On the 14th day of this month of Adar, we celebrate the holiday of Purim, the day established by Mordechai and Esther as a day of “feasting and rejoicing” in commemoration of the Jews’ salvation from Haman’s evil decree in the year 3,405 from creation (356 BCE).

Adar transforms sorrow into joy, a fearful and disunified people into a unified nation, committed and devoted to G‑d and His Torah, as we read in the Megillah, “The month that was reversed for them from grief to joy” (Esther 9:22).

We live in times that can often feel so dark and challenging. While sadness, despair or depression can hold us back and stagnate our progress towards change, happiness breaks through barriers, and helps us transform ourselves and our circumstances in ways we never thought possible.

So how can we access joy? By realizing that through our challenges, throughout our successes and our failures, our essential identity, our G‑dly soul—that piece of G‑d within us—is never affected, and remains completely pure and connected to G‑d.

Our relationship with the Master of the Universe is so deep, it rests at the very core of our being and can never be broken. In fact, even when we mess up and think we are walking away from G‑d, He anxiously awaits our return. No love could be deeper, no joy could be greater. This makes, really, every moment a moment for celebration.

In that vein, I think it is an appropriate week to introduce to you a new audio series that I’m very excited about. Women’s Tanya Classes by Rochel Shmukler is an interactive spiritual journey where you can study, discuss and apply the revolutionary ideas presented in the Tanya, a foremost work of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism by the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.

The Tanya describes how we’ve been provided unlimited opportunities for our soul to connect with G‑d. Some of the topics in this series include: “The True Definition of Reality,” “Align Your Everyday Awareness with Your Core Self” and “Becoming the Embodiment of the Divine Will.”

Learning and meditating on these ideas can help us achieve true joy. When we feel sad, we feel heavy and defeated. But when we feel joyful, we become empowered to reach upwards and onwards and to become even better, more connected individuals.

Wishing you a Chodesh Tov, a happy and joyous month of Adar!

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW

New Section on Mental Health

February 5, 2020 9:24 AM

Hi!

Mental health is a major issue, which virtually every individual, family, and community must face at some time or another.

For decades, Chabad.org has been right there alongside the brave folks contending with mental illness, and their loved ones. We’ve published dozens of personal accounts, advice columns and expert recommendations, as well as spiritual guidance from the Rebbe.

To make it easier to find these resources, we’ve aggregated them from across the width and depth of Chabad.org into a single section: www.chabad.org/mentalhealth

Please have a look, read a couple of articles, be inspired and informed, and make sure to share them with your friends and relatives.

With love,

Your friends @ Chabad.org

Classic Treatise on the Essence of Chassidism Published Online

Landmark release coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Rebbe’s assumption of leadership

February 3, 2020 5:40 PM
On the Essence of Chasidus, part of the acclaimed Chassidic Heritage Series.
On the Essence of Chasidus, part of the acclaimed Chassidic Heritage Series.

Many people can spot a Chassidic Jew when they see one, and many can even cite several facts about the Chassidic movement and its leaders.

But what exactly is Chassidism, the philosophical underpinnings of the movement which began in mid-18th century Eastern Europe?

This was the question the Rebbe set out to answer in a landmark talk he delivered in Yiddish on 19 Kislev, 5726 (1965). This talk was later published in Hebrew in 1970 under the title Inyanah Shel Toras Hachasidus. During the course of the talk, the Rebbe elucidates many concepts including defining what the actual contribution Chassidic thought has on Torah study, the relationship Chassidism has with Kabbalah and how it offers a deeper and expanded understanding of Torah.

In 1978, the work was translated into English by Rabbi Heschel Greenberg and Dr. Susan Handelman and edited by Rabbis Zalman I. Posner and Aaron Dov Sufrin and published by Kehot Publication Society as On the Essence of Chasidus (a title chosen by the Rebbe).

Now part of Kehot’s acclaimed Chassidic Heritage Series, it has become a staple in libraries of English-speaking students of Chassidism.

In honor of 10 Shevat, which this year commemorates seventy years of the Rebbe's leadership, Chabad.org and Kehot Publication Society are delighted to release this classic work online.

To aid the student, the Hebrew original and English translation are presented side by side, for easy cross-referencing. It also contains extensive footnotes, which render even the kabbalistic and Talmudic terminology accessible to readers and students of all backgrounds.

The publication is the latest result of the longstanding partnership and synergy between Kehot and Chabad.org. Since the early 1990s, Chabad.org has carried many Kehot texts, and Kehot has published several books produced by Chabad.org. Another notable product of this partnership are the popular Smart Siddur apps, which were developed by the Chabad.org technology team in collaboration with Kehot.

“On behalf of our readers, we are grateful to Kehot for generously sharing this treasure with the worldwide community,” says Chabad.org director Rabbi Meir Simcha Kogan.

The text was expertly and painstakingly digitized and processed by the Chabad.org team, each of whom contributed his or her talents to this special project.

The complete discourse can be viewed in Hebrew and English here.

A handsome hardcover print edition can be purchased from Kehot here.

Chabad.org’s Rambam Is Now Vowelized

February 3, 2020 1:41 PM

Since Chabad.org came online in the early 1990s, daily study has always been a cornerstone of Chabad.org and one of our most popular features. Making it easy for visitors to study the daily portion of Chumash, Tehillim, Tanya, Rambam’s Mishneh Torah and more has always been a priority and one that continues to expand and evolve.

For more than a decade, students of the daily Mishneh Torah have enjoyed the ease of learning from the original Hebrew text alongside Rabbi Eli Touger’s English translation, graciously shared by Moznaim publishers, a leading publisher of Judaic classics. (The full set of Mishneh Torah can be purchased here.)

In honor of 10 Shevat, which marks 70 years of the Rebbe’s leadership, we are delighted to share that the Hebrew text will now display with vowels (nekkudot), which will enable students of all backgrounds and levels of education to be able to partake in this daily study track in the original.

This upgrade is the product of a collaboration between Chabad.org’s technology and content teams, who are focused on making our growing selection of classic Jewish texts more accessible.

Access today’s portion, newly vowelized, here.

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