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J. Immanuel Schochet

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Rabbi Immanuel Schochet (1935–2013) wrote and lectured extensively on the history and philosophy of Chassidism and topical themes of Jewish thought and ethics. He was a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism. He was rabbi of Cong. Beth Joseph, and professor of Philosophy at Humber College, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Chassidic response to the tension between emotive religious experience and the categorical imperatives of Halacha, and the philosophy of Chabad activism for religious revival which has revolutionized the Jewish religious life and conciousness, are so ...
The most succinct definition of Jewish mysticism is found in the Zohar . Said R. Shimon: Woe to the man who says that the Torah merely tells tales and ordinary matters. (The Torah contains many narratives, especially in the Book of Genesis (Bereishit), wh...
From the preceding passages of the Zohar we have a profound understanding of the very nature of the Torah in general, and of its mystical dimension in particular. Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah and Chassidism, are nishmata de'orayta (the very soul of the ...
The soul-body analogy is not just a nice metaphor. It is meant quite literally and evokes the very nature and relevance of Jewish mysticism. On the human level, the soul is `unique, altogether pure, concealed, abides in the innermost precincts of the body...
An exclusive study of nigleh - the exoteric Torah, may equip the student with Torah-knowledge. He may acquire profound scholarship. Nonetheless, it allows also the possibility that the student-scholar remain separate from the Torah itself. On a crude leve...
To the Mekubbal or Chassid, the mitzvot are not only categorical imperatives of formal morality, acts of obedience and submission to G-d. The term mitzvah is an idiom of tzavta - of being joined together. It implies being unified with the very act of the ...
The principle of unity is fundamental to Judaism, expressing itself in each of the major concepts of our faith: G-d, Torah, and Israel. Achdut Hashem, the Unity of G-d, is a fundamental and all- comprehensive principle of Judaism, second only to existence...
It may appear paradoxical, but the emphasis on the universal, on the ultimate oneness of all, also emphasizes the particular. For everything created by G-d, thus everything that is part of the universal, is created for a distinct purpose, with a distinct ...
The above now leads us to another crucial concept in Jewish mysticism: the cosmic significance of man's actions. At the completion of ma'aseh bereishit - the work of creation - it is said that "G-d blessed the seventh day and made it holy, for on it He re...
Man must be conscious of this immense power. He must realize that all his actions are charged with serious consequences. The Baal Shem Tov thus cautions: "Excessive humility may cause man to go astray from the service of G-d! Because of a sense of self-de...
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