Kosher Meditation

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Kosher Meditation

The Sages of the Talmud ask: “Why does G-d allow the sun and moon to exist, if they have become objects of idolatry?” They answer: The forces of nature are positive and beneficial; should God destroy His creations only because of the fools who worship them?
Cults, Idolatry; Paganism, Meditation, Yoga, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Kosher Meditation
Disc 60, Program 237

Event Date: 13 Tammuz 5739 - July 08, 1979

The Sages of the Talmud ask: “Why does G-d allow the sun and moon to exist, if they have become objects of idolatry?” They answer: The forces of nature are positive and beneficial; should God destroy His creations only because of the fools who worship them?

This same principle applies to a new trend of the Twentieth Century. Many troubled youth — and adults – have joined religious cults that practice forms of meditation involving idolatrous rituals. Meditation itself can indeed have the positive effect of calming the nerves and the psyche, but it must divested of anything idolatrous.

Doctors who treat psychological or emotional disorders have a sacred obligation to find a way to utilize the therapeutic benefits of meditation in a Kosher way. When the success of a Kosher meditation method becomes publicized, people attracted by idolatrous methods will be saved.

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Mendel Weinberger Jerusalem August 29, 2023

I was one of those Jews who became involved with meditation through the Zen Buddhists in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980. Lucky for me I had enough of a Jewish identity to see the problem with bowing down to an idol and the Zen Master and left after a year to pursue Judaism. But there are many lost Jews who are deeply involved with the Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism and don't see a Jewish alternative. It is time to make a Jewish alternative available for them.
I have taken it upon myself to learn Jewish mindfulness and teach it to Jews in Israel. Reply

Spikeyapples August 29, 2023
in response to Mendel Weinberger:

So bowing down to a "sage" is somehow less of a problem? I think you kinda misunderstand Buddhism, because it essentially teaches there's nothing and nobody one ought to "bow down" to Reply

yoga studios August 30, 2023
in response to Mendel Weinberger:

I'm glad you are saving those lost souls! I think someone should go into the yoga studios and rescue them as they walk into the studio
Maybe post flyers to chabad's website at the yoga studios if chabad will let you Reply

Mendel Weinberger Israel August 31, 2023
in response to Spikeyapples :

We honor sages, we don't worship them. I actually don't think that Buddhism is idol worship, but it does look like it. And appearances are important. Someone who is born a Jew, can never leave it. It is part of him identity forever. He can put on the hat of Buddhist, Communist, socialist, capitalist, or nationalist. But he or she will never stop being a Jew. Reply

A yid in Tel Aviv Tel Aviv August 31, 2023
in response to Mendel Weinberger :

Please see Rabbi Tzvi Freeman"s extensive writings on Chabad.org,
on Jewish meditation.
Well worth reading.
You can search on this site in the search box:
"Tzvi Freeman Meditation" Reply

Spikeyapples September 2, 2023
in response to Mendel Weinberger :

Well, first of having something that you can't escape or change is actually hardly a good thing. It kinda sounds fatalistic, which is ironic given than Judaism supposedly doesn't believe in fatalism but in free will. It's like a birthmark or a yoke you can't throw (and yes I'm aware of the yoke of heaven concept and I can't say I find it that attractive either). But for your info, we do, at least some of us, essentially bow down to sages. We ask them to pray for us, to kind of "vouch" for us, and actually whole this practice may have ceased or fizzled out over centuries, but I trust archaeologists find plenty of proofs that around times of talmud Jews actually prayed TO various sages as well as angels, not only directly to God Reply

Aryeh Siegel Los Angeles March 16, 2023

The Rebbe believed a “therapeutic” meditation could help treat “psychic stress.” In 1978, he wrote to fifty prominent psychiatrists and physicians, imploring them to develop, incorporate and publicize kosher therapeutic meditation practices.

The Rebbe also wanted a Jewish response to Eastern meditations that were attracting thousands of Jewish students and adults. The Relaxation Response developed in the mid-1970s by Harvard research physician Herbert Benson could be what the Rebbe sought. Benson devised a simple meditation that addresses stress without Hindu ceremonies and mantras. All that’s required is thinking of a sound chosen by the student and returning to the sound when aware the attention wanders. There are well over a hundred studies documenting its benefits.

Perhaps it is time for a Rabbi with the requisite expertise to determine if the Relaxation Response, a variation of it, or another meditation altogether could finally address something of such importance to the Rebbe Reply

anonymous March 16, 2023

hopefully some rabbis can rescue all the many lost jewish souls who were never taught torah who have unknowingly fallen into the evil traps of new age, yoga, hippie, and hindu, buddhist, as well as other sitra achra beliefs and practices. Maybe someone can somehow go rescue them. Reply

Aleksandr Yakubson Staten island March 14, 2023

it would've been nice to concretize which forms of meditation and other related activities were seen by Rebbe and Judaism in general, as idolatrous. is being a John Lennon fan idolatry? is practicing numerous India, China, Japan etc originated gymnastics, martial art, proper meditation approaches idolatrous? some say eastern 'religions' are 'religions without God' and thus are quite compatible with Judaism.
also, it needs to be understood that as sad as it may sound, when there's say 'meditation' and then there's 'Jewish meditation', addition of some adjective already hints at inferiority and derivation Reply

Lawrence Brenner SPRINGTOWN March 16, 2023
in response to Aleksandr Yakubson:

Aleksandr, I would suggest you read a short book called Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan. It may answer some of your questions. Reply

Spikeyapples August 29, 2023
in response to Lawrence Brenner:

Lawrence, I suggest you try relay that already short book's main postulates here in even shorter form Reply

Deborah Budapest, Hungary May 24, 2019

This video only shows men, as if only men exist and the words spoken are for men. Reply

Chabad.org Staff May 24, 2019
in response to Deborah:

Women were present as well, in a balcony area above the men's room. Due to logistics of video cameras at the time of this recording, they are not visible in the clip. The Rebbe always addressed both men and women in his talks. Reply

Suri Katz Toms River March 16, 2023
in response to Deborah:

The Rebbe always taught the extraordinary potential and value of women. Contrary to the feminist movement, the Rebbe recognized the unique talents of the Jewish woman. Reply

Spikeyapples September 4, 2023
in response to Suri Katz:

Separate but equal? )) and are you saying feminism doesn't recognize talents of women, or those talents' uniqueness or specifically uniqueness of Jewish women or of their talents? Well, it's a universal movement that concerns itself with rights of ALL women so it's no surprise if they don't allocate special place for women of just one nation. Though in case of those women of a specific nation being relegated to a balcony or to a separate praying area behind a drape and then addressed separately by the preacher and conveniently left out of video materials under that premise, yeah I don't think feminist movement would be too happy about this practice Reply

Inez Medellin Dunker November 13, 2011

The World If only the entire world of people which God created would even listen to these teachings, I know it would change the outcome of our today world in a manner of which G~d is. with great goodness and holiness. How awesome this would be, I pray one day that G~d will direct all our paths in His direction of complete holiness making our world a complete loving people, filled with goodness and peace. How I wish I could part-take in fulfilling G~d's desires for us all, to live in harmony where there is no more sin, where sickness does not exist, where we can truly be higher than the angels, each and everyone of us. Connecting to the Almighty with love, humility, full acceptance of Him alone. One G~d. I love these teachings, it enlightens my being, my heart and soul. I can reach and touch G~d with good actions and words coming from my heart to my mind and my thoughts. G~d is so awesome, for many wonderful things he has done for me and others, everyday of our lives, all day long as we live. Reply

Batya March 16, 2023
in response to Inez Medellin Dunker:

I love the comment preceding. In all we hear say and do it is our unique ability to find the good and bring it to fruition. Tease out raw ideas, arrogant speech, one sided comments and fulfill it’s whole potential. I see idolatrous practice as simply that, half full. It needs the oneness of God and deep in each of us, we want that to. We are all reaching but aren’t quite tall enough. If we can cultivate our understanding and learn to speak to the soul, we can reach this height together. Truly, i believe we all want that-we just struggle knowing how. May G-d grant us the ability to speak with understanding and compassion when we are most confounded, frustrated, and judgmental. . Reply

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