4 responses

  1. Wow thank you! I love what you say and it truly inspires me, so I don’t know why it feels so uncomfortable to be learning such a revolutionary way of understanding Hashem. How does scar and onesh fit into all this? And how can I teach this to my children? Why would anyone do mitzvos just because they love Hashem or just because He needs them. Don’t we need a government and reward/punishment system or else “man would swallow one another alive”
    There is obviously an ocean of learning i have only touced apon in my short twenty eight years of learning, so please keep it coming.

    • Rambam (in Mishan Torah, hilchos Teshuva, I believe) says that there are different ways to motivate oneself to serve Hashem. Reward and punishment is only one way (and there are various forms of R&P: for children, candies and spankings might motivate them; for adults, Gan Eden and Gehenim might motivate them). However, R&P is a superficial motivation when compared to serving Hashem for HIS sake. Initially, doing a mitzvah for OUR sake (Reward & Punishment) is an acceptable beginning, but doing a mitzvah for HIS sake is where we should graduate to (Pirkei Avos, chapter 1, section 3). And even children can grasp that idea and live by it, on whatever level they are capable of. Perhaps it is difficult for us as adults if we have never been taught how to grow from self oriented Judaism. Old habits are perhaps harder to break. With Chasidus, we are fortunate to have an effective way of integrating this nobler way of thinking, for HIS sake. Our generation is very fortunate to have the teachings of the Rebbe, and mentors like Rabbi Friedman who bring these messages to the public.

  2. The way that Manis expresses the idea that G-D ‘needs’ is inaccurate and shallow. A much better and deeper explanation can be found here: http://m.chabad.org/m/article_cdo/aid/3236. I would also like to know where Manis’s innovative explanation of the passage of Job (35:6) is derived from. Also, belief is relevant even after the greatest of revelations as we see that the Jews believed in G-D and Moshe his servant after the splitting of the sea. Sensationalism should only go so far.

    • The way Rabbi Friedman expresses the idea that G-d needs impresses upon the listener that there is a personal and heartfelt aspect to our relationship with G-d. It’s not mechanical, it’s not clinical – it is a relationship.

      The article you refer to leaves unanswered the question: Why are we serving G-d on His terms if His only need is to interact with us. If that were the complete truth G-d should have let us serve Him just with interpersonal mitzvos, or even the symbolic mitzvos. But why would He give us the supra-logical mitzvos, that we don’t really connect with at all? Clearly, He needs something from us that we cannot appreciate. Rabbi Friedman’s teachings cover this angle as well.

      The innovative explanation of the passage of Job is a play on words that follows the classical style of the Maggidim (preachers) of old.

      Emunah doesn’t mean belief. It is closely related to “experience” http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1398519/jewish/Emunah.htm The Jews experienced G-d and they experienced the prophecy of Moshe, leaving them no doubts and no questions.

      The belief we need after the Torah is given to us is not to believe in G-d, i.e. to believe that there is a G-d – we know this as a matter of fact. This is what Rabbi Friedman is saying. The belief required by Torah now is with regard to those things about G-d that are too sublime or too subtle for our human intellect to integrate. In those instances, we have no option other than to believe what we are told in the Torah.

      (Your comment about sensationalism seems arrogant and disrespectful)

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