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Chassidic Ethos and Practice

Purging Divisiveness, Embracing Difference
Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn’s manifesto against self-righteousness in interpersonal discourse
The Second Refinement and the Role of the Tzaddik
How Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi discovered a new way to serve G-d
A teaching about the dream of Joseph, invoking the Kabbalistic narrative of the shattered vessels, and using gender to recast the tzaddik's role in the universal hierarchy of the cosmos—with which R. Schneur Zalman’s chassidic path began.
The How and Why of Chassidic Prayer The How and Why of Chassidic Prayer
Aspects of chassidic prayer and their contemporary application
What makes chassidic prayer distinct? Can these elements be broadened and made relevant to the wider Jewish community in the modern age?
Creating Space for the Song of Songs
How to overcome self-doubt and discover a different way to pray
To Pray with the Tables and with the Chairs
The materiality of Jewish prayer in Chabad Hasidic sources
Far from being a disturbance to the pursuit of pure spirituality, it is the material world that serves as the setting and telos of Hasidic prayer, whose ultimate agenda is to reveal this mundane space as a fitting habitation for divinity.
Requesting Nothing, Sharing Silence Requesting Nothing, Sharing Silence
Esther as a model for a higher mode of prayer
On its most basic level, to pray is to ask G-d to provide for your needs. But the story of Esther provides a loftier model, which should guide us as we approach the High Holidays.
Our Father, Our King Our Father, Our King
Merging intimacy and awe in the High Holiday prayers
The High Holidays are often approached with fear, but a closer look reveals an inner core of divine intimacy along with human empowerment and illumination.
Is Socialism Kosher? Is Socialism Kosher?
Proto-Socialist Resonances in Chassidic Thought
Chabad struggled bitterly against communism's aggressively secular ethos, but successive Rebbes indicated that socialism and Judaism are not entirely at odds. This lecture was in tribute to Professor Chimen Abramsky.
Education, Postmodernism and the Challenge of Tradition
Reflections on the Enduring Relevance of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson’s Religious Thought
In a time of sweeping change Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson advocated radically progressive methodologies, marked by their striking relevance to new theoretical paradigms, in the cause of traditional Judaism.
Models of Inclusivism in Chabad Thought Models of Inclusivism in Chabad Thought
How Chabad combines exclusivist tradition with universal acceptance
Are tradition and inclusivism mutually exclusive? A look at three models for inclusivism drawn directly from Jewish tradition: "Even though he sinned he is a Jew;" "All Israel has a portion in the World to Come;" and "Love your fellow as yourself."
The Educational Philosophy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe The Educational Philosophy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
A Systematic Analysis of Key Themes and Ideas
Judaic scholar, Dr. Aryeh Solomon, conducted five years of intensive research into the writings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. Solomon's research resulted in the first systematic analysis of Rabbi Schneerson's educational philosophy conducted according to strict academic criteria. Here he presents his findings highlighting key themes throughout the work of the Rebbe. (Presented at the Chabad and the Academy Conference at The University of Pennsylvania.)
The Sefirot and the Educational Process The Sefirot and the Educational Process
A Mystical Model for Understanding the Teacher Student Relationship
Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of the Chabad school of Chasidism, uses the Sefirot to describe the relationship between teacher and student. Using practical examples, Dr. Loewenthal shows how this model has been applied by Chabad leadership in the modern era.
Principles of Education and Guidance Principles of Education and Guidance
Pedagogical Model of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Jewish educator, Rabbi Shmuel Lew, gives an overview of "Principals of Education and Guidance," a treatise by the sixth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson. Rabbi Lew explains how the sixth Rebbe's book served as the basis for the educational approach of his successor, the seventh Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. (Presented at the Chabad and the Academy Conference at The University of Pennsylvania.)
Moses in Each Generation Moses in Each Generation
Five models of Jewish spiritual leadership
An introduction to the classic kabbalistic concept that there is an "extension of the spirit of Moses" in each generation and how this idea has come to be applied to the Rebbe-Chassid relationship in modern times.
Deconstructing Sin Deconstructing Sin
Video | 48:19
Deconstructing Sin
Post-Modern Perspectives on the Chassidic Notion of Repentance
Biblical perspectives on good and evil are usually seen as a conventional polarity of white versus black. But in a strikingly post modernist approach, the Chassidic notion of repentance deconstructs this narrative. Sin is not all evil, but provides unique opportunity for spiritual transformation and the ultimate fulfillment of the divine purpose.
The Ethics of Joy The Ethics of Joy
Video | 34:40
The Ethics of Joy
Chabad Perspectives on Happiness
Chassidism is often associated with joy, but what is the nature of this joy? A review of Chabad texts on the subject reveals that chassidic joy is best described in terms of its ethical properties and its moral implications.
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