Episode 1: The Philosophy of Chabad- The Ultimate Question

In honor of Beis Nissan

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  • Series:
    The Philosophy of Chabad
    Episode 1:
    The Ultimate Question
    Question for Discussion:
    Does G-d Need Your Mitzvos?
    We are dealing here with the ultimate fundamental question. This is not something we can dismiss easily
    or be half-hearted about. This is it.
    For thousands of years we have mesiras nefesh to do the mitzvos and not to do aveiros. To then be told
    that G-d himself doesn’t necessarily need the mitzvah doesn’t sound right at all. You can’t be inspired if
    He is not, you can’t serve Him if He doesn’t even really want you to! Even to say G-d that wants you to
    serve Him and He wants the mitzvah on a certain level, but really deep down G-d doesn’t need it, etc.,
    that’s like saying, “Don’t take it seriously.”
    Unless, of course, you want to get Gan Eden; you want to be a Tzadik because you want a reward. In
    that case, as badly as you want the reward, that’s how seriously you are going to take the mitzvos. But
    then what does the Mishna (Avot 1:3) mean to not do a mitzvah for the reward? If I am not doing the
    mitzvah for the reward and G-d doesn’t necessarily need it, what am I doing? It’s either for me or for Him
    —it can’t be for nobody!
    Now, if you look at the Mishna, before you even get to Chassidus, the mishna puts the message into a
    context. What is the context? Don’t be like a servant who serves his master for the sake of the reward,
    etc. Why do you have the mashal of a servant and a master; why don’t you simply say don’t do the
    mitzvos for the reward?
    The context is important because it explains the sense and the reasoning behind the message: Why
    should we not do mitzvos for the reward? If not for the reward, then for what? The mashal is teaching us
    that a servant serves his master without the thought of a reward because he is serving his master. In
    other words, by knowing that the master is getting what he needs, I don’t need to get something I need
    because his pleasure is all the reward I need. But if there is no Rav, there is no master, and I am not
    doing anything for him, then why I should do a mitzvah without thought of a reward?
    So, the Mishna is telling you don’t need more reward than knowing that what you’re doing for the Eibishter
    is what He needs. To then come along and say, “But He doesn’t need…,” well then what are we left with?
    People are justifiably uncomfortable with the word “need” if you apply it to the Eibishter because that
    sounds like a contradiction. The reason He is G-d is because He doesn’t need anything, so if He needs
    how is He G-d?
    It’s a good question, but you can’t avoid the logic of saying that there is something in it for G-d. “Brieshis
    bara elokim es hashamayim ves haretz…” Nu? He didn’t need it? We certainly didn’t need it—we weren’t
    even created yet.
    Now, you can say that G-d doesn’t need it for Himself; He only created the world because we would
    eventually benefit, and He wants to do what’s best for us. Some use a mashal that G-d is like a father
    who is trying to do what’s best for his kid: A father doesn’t need to do what’s best for his kid, but he wants
    to; it’s just for his kid. But still, there is obviously an interest, an investment that the father is making
    because of who he is. No one else but a father is that interested in his kid. When it comes to G-d, is
    creating the world for our benefit not an investment because of who He is? And how badly does He want
    to do what’s best for us? Partially, whole heartedly, infinitely? So, you can’t get away from it.

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Israel Day 2: Revive The Revolution (Chevron & Ra’anana)

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Israel Day 1: Revive The Revolution (Beersheva)

Here is a behind the scenes look at our journey through Israel as we reawaken the Alter Rebbe’s revolution…

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This video highlight is a clip from the full class: Last Night In Beersheva- Made In Israel: Morality Or Oranges?

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G-d Chose The Jewish People: What Does That Really Mean?

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Weekly Parsha Class- #2 Parshas Noach

This class was based on the Sicha in Chelek Gimmel relating to the 10 generations from Noach to Avraham (page 753).

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Why is there a split between Chabad & other parts of The Torah World?

This discussion was held at Midreshet Rachel V’Chaya seminary in Israel.

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Episode 2: Raising Children Isn’t Complicated!

Parenting advice you won’t here anywhere else,  trust me!

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Episode 1: Don’t Confuse Your Child!

Well, here is the 1st Episode of our new series Honor Your Father & Mother…this really sets the foundation for any inappropriate midos.

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Episode 3: What Is The Torah Trying To Tell Us?

If you have watched the first 2 episodes you won’t want to miss this one…Meet My friend Todd

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Episode 2: Do We Really Have Free Choice?

Meet My Friend Todd…the adventure continues

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To view the 1st Episode click here.

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Episode 1: Can We Ever Know What’s Really Going On?

A new different kind of series from 11213.org

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Breaking News: Tonight Special Beis Iyar Farbrengen (For Men)

 

th (1)We are proud to announce that tonight at the Levi Yitzchok Library we will be having a special farbrengen at 9pm with Rabbi Manis Friedman (for Men). In honor of Beis Iyar, the Rebbe Mahrash’s birthday, the topic will focus on the concept of Lichtachila Ariber and applying it to our daily lives.

The Library is located at 305 Kingston Ave 11213

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

In honor of Beis Iyar, the Rebbe Maharash’s birthday, we are presenting a picture where the Rebbe can be seen holding one of the volumes of the set of the Rebbe Maharsh’s seforim – “Toras Shmuel.”

toras shmuel

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My Cousin Ken: Setting The Stage

So last week I wrote a post called My Cousin Ken and mentioned it maybe the start of a new series here on 11213.org. Beneath the article I posted a clip by Rabbi Manis entitled Don’t Believe In G-d which you can watch by clicking here. This was Kenneth’s reaction after watching the video:

YONI, THIS IS TERRIFIC!!!!! WELL-DONE AND RESPECTFUL BY YOU FOR SURE!!! Agree with Rabbi M that logic dictates that something had to come first– whether that translates to “G-d”/”God” and whether what is written/interpreted in the Torah about Sinai can be taken as valid remain intriguing food for conversation/friendly debate!! Will def show to the rest of my family. Hope all is very good with you Yon!  Ken

FYI- Kenneth emailed the post on 11213.org to a few of his friends and one of them who liked the project emailed him back this photo shopped picture of him looking quite religious 🙂

My Cousin Ken- That Was Quick

We met again last week and I decided to make this little trailer to add some context to this journey.

At the end of the video you will see that Kenneth accepted my request to put on Tefillin solely as favor to me and the furtherance of this project. As he explained to me at the time he was doing it just for me and as he put it in his own words not for seeking “a spiritual experience” which is kind of on the right track and directly links to the video below of a class I recorded in Israel a few years ago given by Rabbi Manis.

WARNING! Religion May Be Harmful To Your Health!

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Correcting A Very Misunderstood Hayom Yom

Very often in spirited discussions about how much Hashem Needs Our Mitzvos people usually challenge this notion by quoting the Hayom Yom of Ches Cheshvan which in their minds seems to infer the opposite.

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Rabbi Friedman to clarify exactly where people are going wrong. Below is the english translation for Hayom Yom Ches Cheshvan.

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Hayom Yom Ches Cheshvan:

Mitzva is an idiom of tzavta – “joining,” “attachment.” Whoever performs a mitzva becomes joined to the Essence of G‑d – may He be blessed – Who issues that particular command. This is the meaning of “The reward of a mitzva is the mitzva (itself)”: His becoming attached to the Essence of theEn Sof Who ordained the command, is itself his reward.

The above can be understood through an analogy from the physical world: An extremely simple person has an inner sense of bitul (nullity) before the wisdom and greatness of a scholar – a bitul in which he senses himself to be an utter nonentity. The sage in turn, does not sense or perceive the simpleton as belonging at all to the category of human beings! Not that the scholar dismisses or rejects him, G‑d forbid, for that would be an evil trait; he simply sees no connection or relationship with him whatsoever.

Now, when the sage instructs the simple man to do something for him, that command brings the simpleton “into being.” In his own self-perception he is no longer a nonentity but a “somebody”; he has assumed a status unto himself in that he is able to carry out an order of the sage, and it is him that the sage addressed and instructed. In the eyes of the sage too, the simpleton now “exists”; he is a “somebody” to whom he (the sage) can speak and instruct. What is more, the command actually unites the lofty, exalted sage with the gross simpleton. The analogue is obvious.

It is understood that in the above analogy there is no difference at all what the command is about, whether a great, lofty matter or a simple trivial one.

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Today’s Tanya: Let’s Make Believe You’re A Yetzer Hara

In today’s Tanya portion the Alter Rebbe tells a Jew exactly how to respond to a Yetzer Hara’s cunning argument. This clip is a must watch to see how every line in Tanya is calculated and directly to the point.

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NOT Lost In Translation

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Rabbi Friedman one on one to hear first hand about his experiences translating the Rebbe’s farbrengens. This discussion quickly shifted from the challenges of translating to the challenges of explaining Chassidus in your own words. Enjoy!

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Video Highlight: Why Is Judaism So Judgemental?

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This video highlight is a clip from the full class: ULY Mesivta: For The Times They Are A-Changin’

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Video Highlight: For The Times They Are A Changin’…

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This video highlight is a clip from the full class: ULY Mesivta: For The Times They Are A Changin’…

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Advice Every Dating Bochur Needs To Hear

Dating can often cause all sorts of confusion this clear cut advice can help clear things up.

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This video highlight is an excerpt from the full class of : Kolel Session: Finding A Shlichus, Marriage, Tznius & More

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Ironic Episode 4- A Very Confusing Generation

Isn’t it Ironic?

Ironic Episode 4- A Very Confusing Generation

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This 4th Episode of Ironic is a clip from the full class of This Is A Crisis.

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Ironic Episode 3- We Have A Very Serious Issue

Did Hashem create the world with a purpose?

Ironic Episode 3- We Have A Very Serious Issue

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This 3rd Episode of Ironic is a clip from the full class of This Is A Crisis.

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Ironic Episode 2-The Reason Kids Are Dropping Out

This clip is so fundamental.

Ironic Episode 2- The Reason Kids Are Dropping Out

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This 2nd Episode of Ironic is a clip from the full class of This Is A Crisis.

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Ironic Episode 1-This Is A Crisis

Today’s youth faces unprecedented challenges but yet can achieve the greatest heights. Watch the new series Ironic and understand the direction of where this all headed.

Ironic Episode 1- This Is A Crisis

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This 1st Episode of Ironic is a clip from the full class of This Is A Crisis.

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