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Articles by Other Authors

Tens of short, contemporary spiritual insights penned by a selection of Chabad.org authors.

Four Ways Improvisational Music Helps Me Appreciate Chassidus
When I learn, or when I play or jam with my band, I’m often struck by the similarities between these two disciplines and the way they seem to mirror each other—with a similarly exhilarating, meaningful and transformative impact.
Reflections on the New Beep
The cat and her mistress are both after the mice. There's a significant difference, however: while the woman of the house would be glad if the mice would disappear forever, the cat would be devastated
Voicemail
You will hear one long note, three short beeps, nine shorter beeps, and a long note. If you feel you reached us in error, this is the right place, for to err is human and to forgive is divine . . .
Flight
The wings quiver as they pass through the thick clouds, the world fast approaching, tires screeching on landing, the engines thrusting backwards as the plane races forward...
Are We Having Fun Yet?
In our dual quests for the security of routine on the one hand and the excitement of change on the other, we've been quite successful in the former, but have failed miserably in the latter. Why is it so hard for us to have fun?
Eyes That See
He screeched to a stop and turned to look back. He saw the edge of the cliff far behind him, and began to realize that he was in major trouble. He slowly looked down and only then, when it was clear to him that he was standing on thin air, did he fall...
Is G-d Religious?
If G-d transcends all limitation and definition, and religion is a set of laws and rituals and a list of things that one must or must not do, why would the way to relate to G-d be to impose further restriction and definition on our already finite and constricted lives?
Digging Wells
Rather than reaching up for the Divine you went further down instead, digging wells, only to find that the waters down there have the same blueness of which the heavens are made. You extended the distance between the heavens and the earth; thus you established an outpost, promoting a vigorous circulation between the heavens and the new frontier
Memory
As imagination and science debate, memory -- who is the mother of them both -- stands aside, to observe their performance and growth
Baggage Claim
What is put inside of me is what I will be when arrive. Is it all good? Will it remain in place? Or will it get creased and dislodged en-route? If it does, will it still survive?
When I Started Praying...
It was a simple question. But I don't know how to be simple, my training is in the complex...
Coming In for a Landing
Keep your seat belt fastened until the pilot has turned off the 'Fasten Seat Belt' sign. Collect your personal items. And thank you for choosing This Airline (or did This Airline choose you?) for the journey of a lifetime
What's Wrong With Religion?
Religion offers salvation, enlightenment, a place in heaven. Religion teaches self-improvement: humility, devotion, patience, faith. Religion demands a standard of behavior that benefits our souls, our bodies and our society. I'm glad Judaism is not a religion
Fire and Water
Which is it-- "O all who thirst, come for water" or "My words aret like fire"? Obviously, we much prefer to consume our studies than to be consumed by them...
Define Your G‑d
What statement ends a discussion regarding the motive for odd, or even dangerous, behavior? What causes you to capitulate and say, “I get it, point made, actions justified, the end . . .”?
A Pillar of Salt
I read how Lot is saved and his wife turns into a pillar of salt. And I search to see my life in these words. I'd rather not see it, of course, as the connection is too intense, too real, too true
The Art of G-d
G-d is the prototype modern artist; the universe is His gallery, and on Shabbat it is open to the public...
Kabbalah of Deconstruction
In the classical model, a society has a "center" and a "periphery." In the deconstructivist model, the periphery becomes the center and the center becomes the periphery. Which model would describe Judaism?
I picture it pulsating somehow, like a lighthouse, like a heartbeat, like the rhythmic in and out, on and off, here and there, now and then, dark and light of life
A Different Kind of Darkness
In light we are dissolved, overcome by a reality leaves no room for doubt or fear or curiosity, nor need for courage, flexibility, or interpretation. And so, benevolently, the light that once filled the world contracted to make space for you
The Candle
You can light thousands of candles from one flame without losing the slightest amount of its light; but put thousands of candles in a room, and there will still be a single light...
Reflections
When the water lies still and the sunlight rests upon it, a single globe will reflect from the water. But when the wind stirs the water into waves, it will form a thousand reflections
Souls in the Rain
As in a marriage, when the wedding-party is over, the couple's true intimate life begins. Shemini Atzeret is described as the "time of intimacy with the Divine." At this time, we ask for rain - the symbol of intimacy between heaven and earth.
Fins and Scales
Virus Alert!
The mystics teach that we should glean spiritual lessons from everything that comes our way. So, what can we learn from a computer virus?
Getting Beyond Kvetch
Judaism offers a 60-day program of outlook modification, and it’s launching internationally . . .
Hurricanes of Love
Low pressure air pockets forming over sun-warmed water; fierce winds whirling around an "eye" of absolute calm; a "landfall" that unleashes a fury of soul action...
When Everything Goes Wrong
Dealing with Life's Peaks and Valleys
Life is filled with peaks and valleys. Some days everything goes well and those are the peaks, whereas other days are valleys when nothing seems to work.
The Dangerous Dive
People do dangerous things to experience a thrill. And so did your soul...
Cliff jumping is fraught with danger: One risks breaking bones on the jagged rocks, landing in shallow water or drowning in the mighty waves. Our spiritual jump is also risky...
Water and Money
G-d vowed never to flood His world again, So these days, His methods are be more subtle. When we need to be reminded that we're part of the Greater Whole, G-d uses money
Whose Prayer Is It, Anyway?
My friend expressed his deep frustration at his inability to find a meaningful way to express himself to G-d. He had looked into different "brands" of Judaism, yet there seemed to be no "perfect match," none that fit his spiritual needs
Beyond Life's Fast Lane
When the rebbe indicated that he would deliver a chassidic discourse, the students began to sing the introductory melody. But, being anxious to hear the discourse, they rushed through the melody . . .
Where is Moses Name?
One of the purported perks of living a righteous life is that your name lives on long after you are gone. So why does the Torah mark Moses' passing by scratching his name from the record?
Cooking the Year
Golan apples dipped in honey; raisins and bananas; pumpkin jam, apple jam and quince jam; leek, dates; pomegranate seeds; candied carrots; beet leaf and sunflower seed patties; piquant fish; heart and lung cooked with black-eyed peas (rubia); and tongue cooked in tomato and leek . . .
Generally it is maintained that there are two distinct styles of music. Let us term these, for convenience's sake, as 'Western music,' music which originates from Western society, and 'Non-Western,' music which is derived from all other cultures
The Gentle Way of Silence in a Noisy World
"The radio," Aldous Huxley once wrote, "is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes." If noise was an issue years back, clearly today the noise level has been upped a thousand degrees.
The ABC's of Developing Our Spiritual Resources
From early in life, we are told, "We don't hurt the people we love." So it is difficult to trust that the hurts G‑d inflicts on us are out of love.
Giving Is Receiving
The Talmud states that everyone is obligated to give charity, including someone who is totally dependant on, and supported by a communal welfare fund. Isn't this a little absurd?
Not Naïve, Just Loving
If someone points out your personality flaw, you would feel hurt and insulted. But why is there a difference between knowing your own failings and someone else pointing them out to you?
The Wisdom of the Rooster
A rooster crows at the beginning of each day, some time before it gets light. When it senses that dawn will break soon, and light is on the way to substitute the darkness, he emits the crowing noise...
When the great sage Rabbah lectured in Talmudic law he would always begin with a joke. But why? After all, his students were dedicated scholars ready to receive his teachings with full concentration...
How to Celebrate
Interestingly, all Jewish experiences of joy seem to be preceded by serious or solemn moments that motivate reflection, introspection and feelings of repentance.
Humility
The humble person is fully aware of who he is. He acknowledges his talents, strengths and weaknesses. The humble individual feels safe with his identity and is confident and secure.
The Big Knife
Getting a Handle on the Internet
A little girl once asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe if nuclear energy was good or bad. The Rebbe, in typically Jewish fashion, answered a question with a question: is a knife good or bad?
High Heels and High Holidays
During services today, my three-year-old daughter ran into the shul, parading in my wife’s high-heeled shoes. She is presenting graphically what we are all trying to do emotionally and spiritually. She is working on elevating herself just a few inches.
To Forgive is Divine
At 8:15, I presented the questions to my friends. The first: what would it cost you to forgive? Pens quietly scratched paper, and reason silently scratched the surface of emotion...
Kabbalistic Remedy for Tantrums
My two-year-old has huge tantrums and is impossible to control. We are going crazy and don't know what to do. Is there some Kabbalistic formula to get a child to behave?
The Power of Why
Alas, it seems that there are times in life where we simply fail to ask ourselves, “How are things with me?” Perhaps it is the passage of time and the business of the moment, or perhaps we may not be keen on hearing our own answer...
One Heart
Sinai unequivocally states that you do not have to resign yourself to a life of duality
The Lonely G-d
Rest For a Weary Traveler
We may distract ourselves, party away, get carried off by all types of stimulation and entertainment; but at the end of the day, that silent, isolated center beckons from within...
Is The Torah Relevant to My Life?
Make a list of the areas of greatest concern in your life, and for each item on the list, ask yourself the following simple question: Do I look to the Torah as the principal source of guidance in this area of my life?
Upon a Timeless Tel
I’ll leave you room to err, says G‑d, because you will rebuild—grander, stronger and more beautiful edifices.
Do I Need to Be Perfect in Order to Repent?
Simply put—you want to fix what you broke? The first step is to get “tamim.” But what does “tamim” mean?
Beyond Transcendental
There’s a third way to get to G-d
Meaningful experiences are a compromise. Transcendental ones leave you in the dust. There’s a third way to get to G‑d, the one you would least expect.
What I Learned From a Crushed Toenail
I figured that with a bit of time and TLC my toenails would heal and I’d be back to my bouncing self.
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