Your mind and heart are opposites.

Your mind breaks everything into small bite-size pieces, while your heart sweeps everything together as one.

Your heart knows no details. If your heart is in love, it is in love completely. If it loves someone, then the totality of that person, with all his or her complexities, are all swept up in that love. If someone tells you, “I love all of you, except for one small detail about you that annoys me,” then you know it is not her heart talking; it’s her mind talking. For the heart is blind to detail—which is precisely why it is so passionate. When you weigh every detail individually, somehow, the magic escapes.

Your mind, on the other hand, is analytical. Which do you follow?It breaks an idea into small parts, accepting some, polishing others, and throwing some out. When something exciting happens, your mind’s job is to cool you down. It knows that indeed the news is exciting, but it is smart enough to know that “the devil is in the details.” The mind tells you things like “Sure, you love the new job offer, but are you really willing to put up with the extra commute time?” or “Sure, he makes you happy, but is he really right for you?”

So which do you follow, the analytic mind or the passionate heart? Today the trend is to “follow your heart,” to lead a lifestyle that is driven by desire. Chassidic thought says otherwise. Sure, the heart’s passion and drive are powerful forces that can propel you to great heights, but without the mind’s guidance, your passion may propel you to a place you don’t want to be. For the heart is from the world of Tohu, “Chaos,” a world of intense passion but no direction, while the mind is from the world of Tikkun, “Order.”

So the next time you’re not sure if what you love is right for you, take out a sheet of paper and list the pros and cons. What you are doing is bridging the heart and mind, leading to a more integrated, holistic life. In Kabbalistic terminology, only the World of Order can elevate the World of Chaos.

This, says chassidic philosophy, explains all you need to know about Esau and Jacob.

Isaac loved Esau. Only the World of Order can elevate the World of ChaosWhy? Because he saw the energy of chaos. For Judaism to survive, argues Isaac, you need passion, commitment and emotional strength. The intellectual may have the right ideas, but he also has no drive to fight for and protect those ideas. You need an Esau to carry, safeguard and implement your message.

Rebecca disagrees.

Esau has awesome potential, indeed. But he needs Jacob as his compass. Left to his own devices, Esau may use the blessings to further his base desires rather than to perpetuate his grandfather’s legacy. Rebecca therefore convinces a reluctant Jacob to steal the blessings designed for Esau. She understands Esau’s potent quality. But she realizes that Esau’s chaotic power needs direction.

It needs Jacob.