Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Call to Arms!

In the world we live in...
People go about their lives and obligations, running from one errand to the next. People don't take time to stop and think.
We have developed the most advanced forms of communications, but we have yet to learn how to communicate with ourselves.
Sometimes it seems that we are running and running, but what are we running from? It seems like all those places we are running to are just pretexts to cover up the fact that we are really running away from something which is particularly frightening to us.
Could it be that we are running away from ourselves?
Could it be that we are filling up our lives with other people and events, only so we won't be forced to confront ourselves?
What is it that we are so scared of? Who is that enemy which lies inside of us?
More importantly, how do we fight it?

Reb Yisroel Baal Shem Tov was amongst the most important Jewish innovators of the past few centuries. The path of Chassidus which he established teaches a person how to know himself, and how to reveal the true good which lies within each one of us, and how to use that good to confront our real enemy: the feeling of void brought about through not feeling our attachment with G-d.

In this blog, we hope to discuss how the teaching of Chassidus, as it is developed through its Masters throughout the generations, is applicable to each and every Jewish soul, especially in today's generation. We will attempt to show how every one of us can use its light to combat our own individual darkness.

There are two types of soldiers. Those who fight in infantry, as an army. There, although each fighter is certainly an individual, the enemy is a general one, and the fight is the same. Throughout the generations, Chassidus has historically left room for such types of battles. Entire battalions accepted upon themselves to battle a specific form of evil, as a group.

But today, the enemy has become highly specific, and individual. We have seen how lone terrorists and guerrillas have brought down powerful armies. The time has come for the forces of Light and Good to fight back with the same weapons. The time has come for partisans who fight with the Light of Chassidus!


a fellow searcher said...

Yasher koach for the beautiful article! I'm looking forward to the next one! I have been searching on a similar path for so long and still have so many questions I truly hope you will have something enlightening.

Anonymous said...

I'ts comforting to see others from a similar background unearthing the treasures of original chassidus. On this topic, and over all on the topic of Searching, especialy in the heimesh yishivish (even chassidish)world it's sad that this is generaly left to the Baal Teshuva community,as if there's something diferent about being a BT. We are all striving to be Baalei Teshuva let me explain, in a very literal sense of the word what difference is there between going from not knowing the laws of shabbos to knowing it, than going from not knowing the essence (the awesome light and emuna revealed in shabbos)to knowing. To emphasise my point, my parents, grandparents etc. are/where all Rabbonim in the Eastern European world, I'm learning in kolel, and I'm still on the path of teshuva and hope to remain so for eternity. My Tefila is that we should gain a tremendous amount from this site, and many should join us on the never ending path of Teshuva. Amen

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular yeshivishe guy who learns mussar. Is there anything that could be attained through living with chassidus that can't be attained through living with mussar? I mean torah giants who have walked the world in recent generations such as R'schach, R' Avigdor Miller, R'Brus, R' Shmuel Berenbaum all of blessed memory. And there are many living today all of whom that are not connected with chassidus. Rather they choose mussar to live with. How in the world can we reach greater heights than these individuals!?

redsneakz said...

I'm on my own path to B'T, so I'll respond to the second anonymous poster. In the famous story that is told of R' Meshulam Zushe of Anipol, he was most worried, on his deathbed, that the Holy Court would ask him how come he wasn't Zushe.

So it's to each of us to find his own path. If your path is Mussar, because of your neshama is attached to R' Miller, then go in great strength along that path. But never forget that the great rebbeim of Chasidus were also, largely, greats in Torah as well. How can we ignore the greatness of the Alter Rebbe, or Elimelech of Lizensk?

All I'm saying is that there are great lessons for Yekkes in Chasidus, just as there are great lessons for Chassids in Mussar; don't be afraid to taste.