Chassidut (or, Chassidus) is the movement within Judaism founded by Rabbi Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov (5458 – 5520 [1698-1760 CE]. Its purpose is to awaken the Jewish People to its own inner self through the inner dimension of the Torah, thus preparing the way for the advent of Mashiach.
Chassidut is inwardly based upon the ancient doctrinal tradition of Kabbalah. Outwardly it gives new emphasis to the simple and joyful service of God, particularly through prayer and acts of loving-kindness. In Chassidic thought, the abstract and often impenetrable formulae of classical Kabbalah are recast into the psychological terms of human experience.
The exile of the Jewish soul–the apparent loss of Jewish identity–is compared to a state of sleep. In sleep the eyes are closed to outer reality. The power of sight, together with the other conscious powers of mind and heart, disappear into their subconscious source.
The seven pure paths of Divine service and how each corresponds to one of the 7 kosher animals.
Of all the Chassidic Rebbes, Rebbe Elimelech represents the model tzadik(righteous individual). In his book the tzadik plays a prominent role, so much so that it is often affectionately referred to as “The Book of the Righteous.” The sages teach that every year on Rosh Hashanah, three books are opened before the Almighty: The Book of the Righteous, The Book of the Intermediates, and The Book of the Wicked. But, what does a simple Jew do when he learns something from Noam Elimelechat his Shabbat table?
Where does a Breslover chassid and a Chabad-Lubavitch chassid meet? Those of us who are familiar with these two distinct paths of Chassidut know that usually a Chabadnik (follower of Chabad) and a Breslover (follower of Breslov) have two very different character types…
Anyone who is released from prison must thank God. But, only under very special circumstances does such an event become a festive day that is noted for generations on the calendars of hundreds of thousands of people. However, this is the case with 19th of Kislev, the day on which the founder of Chabad Chassidut, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, was released from prison more than two centuries ago. This date was not only instituted by Rabbi Shneur Zalman’s devoted followers, but Rabbi Shneur Zalman himself even saw the episode of his captivity and subsequent redemption as an event of national importance.
Rabbi Shneur Zalman coined the phrase, “living with the times” which means to live life in the light of the weekly Torah portion; and to see it as an indicator for all that happens to us throughout the week—both on a personal and national level…
YUD SHEVAT, THE 10TH DAY OF THE MONTH OF SHEVAT, MARKS THE PASSING OF THE FRIEDIGER LUBAVITCHER REBBE, RABBI YOSEF YITZCHAK SCHNEERSOHN IN 5710 (1950). A YEAR LATER, ON THE SAME HEBREW DATE, THE REBBE, RABBI MENACHEM MENDEL SCHNEERSOHN RECEIVED HIS FATHER-IN-LAW’S POST AND ASSUMED THE LEADERSHIP OF CHABAD.
SHORTLY BEFORE YUD SHEVAT 5710, THE FRIEDIGER REBBE PUBLISHED A CHASSIDIC TREATISE TITLED “BATI LEGANI” (LIT.: “I HAVE COME TO MY GARDEN”), FOR CHASSIDIM TO BEGIN TO STUDY ON THE VERY DAY OF YUD SHEVAT (WHICH MARKS, AS WELL, THE YARTZEIT OF HIS GRANDMOTHER, THE RABBANIT RIVKAH), WHICH POSTHUMOUSLY BECAME HIS SPIRITUAL WILL FOR OUR GENERATION.
Today (Shabbat), we read parshat Ve’atah Tetzaveh. Today is also the 10th of First Adar—a very important date. Exactly on this very day, 27 years ago, the Rebbe delivered the discourse that he would personally hand out 11 years later on Purim Katan (the 14th day of Adar Rishon) of 5752.1 This would be the last editedma’amar (Chassidic discourse) because only a few days later the unfortunate event of the 27th (זך ) day of First Adar occurred.
This ma’amar is known for its first two words “Ve’atah tetzaveh.” Since, this is for now the last ma’amar we received from the Rebbe, it must contain a very special message to us, a message that covers the span of time from the distribution of thatma’amar until the revelation of the Mashiach techef umiyad mamash (immediately!).
The Seer of Lublin once said, “Between mentor and mentor (Rebbe and Rebbe) I can’t differentiate and I don’t want to differentiate. Between disciple and disciple (talmid and talmid) I can differentiate but I don’t want to differentiate.”