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Physicality and Spirituality

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Jewish approaches to asceticism from the Mishnah to Chassidic teachings
Some Jewish commentators saw the conflict between body and soul as insurmountable, others saw it as non-existent, yet others saw it as an opportunity for a step by step process of mystical synthesis
Is spirituality at odds with the physical world?
The Desert Mentality, Part 2
In this lesson we examine the fascinating tale of the Talmud with Rabba bar bar Chana and the desert corpses, and uncover the mystical meaning and message the Talmud conveys with this enigmatic narrative.
How to infuse our physical reality with spirituality
How the Jewish people, and particularly Jewish women, have been experts in maintaining our spiritual identity even in foreign soils.
A Chassidic Perspective on Shavuot, Part 1
The giving of the Torah reconciles the dichotomy in everything and reveals the unifying essence in both the spiritual and the material.
Jewish Theology, Lesson 4
Why did G‑d create this physical universe? What role does it play in G‑d’s plan? In this fourth of a six-part series on core Jewish beliefs, we discuss why G‑d desires this lowly and crass world, and how the material can ultimately become more G‑dly than ...
A profound and novel understanding of Torah's promise of material reward for fulfilling the commandments. (Likutei Sichos vol. 37, p.79)
A conversation about the nature of existence
On the 200th anniversary of the passing of the Alter Rebbe, founder of the Chabad school of mysticism, two scholars sit down to discuss the significance of one of his teachings—the meaning and value of the physical universe.
Can earth be holier than heaven?
Reconciling the pursuit of spiritual ecstasy with the idea of creating a “dwelling place for the divine in the lower realms of creation.”
If you really love G-d, how should you show it? By retreating to a mountain top?
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