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The Baal Shem Tov's Approach to Addictive & Dysfunctional Thoughts

The Holiness of Unholy Thoughts: Chassidus & Psychoanalysis

1 hr 1 min

Class Summary:

Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of Chassidism, granted Judaism a sophistication, depth, and richness, which allow us to appreciate Torah with a new light.

One of his most fundamental teachings was that G-d was not a force above the world manipulating and controlling it, but rather G-d was the name we use to describe the very truth and essence of Reality; the core and backdrop of all existence.

Therefore, in every thought there was meaning, in every experience there was joy, in every encounter there was energy of the Divine. You can find G-d in all.

This class takes us on a journey into one of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings on how to deal with alien and destructive thoughts that inundate us during prayer and meditation. 150 years before the birth of psychoanalysis, the Baal Shem Tov taught us how the external manifestation of a thought may eclipse its inner meaning. Every thought needs healing and sublimation. Yet there are exceptions.

Please leave your comment below!

  • MB

    Mark Benton -7 years ago

    Batya, how condescending to infer that Baalei Teshuva are "ignoramuses" while they likely have attained more in their lives than you can ever expect to yourself. Get a life Batya! What a beautiful essay!

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    • G

      Gordan -5 years ago

      Suck dick you hore

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    • J

      JESUS -5 years ago

      Stop talking shit

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  • B

    BATYA -13 years ago

    WHY SECULAR NAMES?
    I like your very insightful articles but I'm very disappointed that you only use the the English names of all our great personalities
    and when you quote the Pesukim they're also in English. It sounds like the New Testament, Lehavdil, and doesn't have the Taam of the Loshon Hakodesh. I understand that a big part of your audience is made up of Baalei Teshuva, but you're helping them stay Ignoramuses.
    Surely everybody can recognize Moshe Rabeinu and no need to use Moses etc.
    Batya

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  • R

    Rivka -13 years ago

    Danger of Passivity
    This was a very moving essay! I was so touched by it that I have shared it on my Facebook page. Thank you for taking the time to write this article.

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  • ZL

    Zelda Lowenstein -13 years ago

    How?
    I agree and I faint at night with worry. But I, too, say, HOW am I to protest. I am sick myself and after just taking care of myself I have almost no energy, My one grandchild has been brought up by an assimilated mother. My influence seems minimal. I continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and our holy Jewish people. Oslo is a done deal. I think we may need to make

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  • E

    Elki -13 years ago

    To Vivian Deutsch
    How sad that you deprive yourself of the joy Rabbi Jacobson's classes and essays create. People have differences of opinion, but then there's truth and truth is painful. It is not easy to open one's mind and be willing to be possibly change one's stance.
    Rabbi Jacobson does not seek nor need my approbation, but here the fault is not in the mouth and pen of the instructor. So sad, but, indeed I understand that you prefer to go back and listen and read words of those who allow you to stay in your old mindset.

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  • J

    jeff -13 years ago

    how?
    I always love your ability to draw down what we inherently know but don't often act upon. This story on eicha was a great example...what is difficult is to figure out which battle to take on and maybe most importantly Where and When. I "faint" inside throughout the day when I see what's happening to the US and even more so when I feel the pressure on Israel and EVERY DAY when I daven spend extra time on the Amidah section ....crush our enemies... We are all busy and I don't mean that as excuse BUT if you've got any suggestions of how to focus in so we're not just spinning wheels I'd love your insight. Hope all is well and hope to from New Mexico, All the Best. Jeff Sollins

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  • E

    Edith -13 years ago

    it is the truth
    Everything you say in this e mail is so true that it is difficult to understand why it is not more acknowledged. Unfortunately nothing that is written by anyone seems to make an impression and we just go from one disaster to an even bigger one until eventually I fear we will once again be 'wandering'Jews' Chas ve Chalila.
    Edith Ognall
    Netanya

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  • E

    Elchonon -13 years ago

    Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

    I loved your essay. And it left me with a couple of questions (as it should):

    1) Ok, I understand the issue of creating a terrorist state. However, what is Israel, as a democracy, supposed to do with her large Arab population? You can't just wish the issue away.

    2) Usually, the "ordinary person" is a someone very busy struggling just to make ends meet. S/he's not a full time professional employed in fielding the world's problems nor does s/he have special training in this area. The leader on the other hand, is often someone who has all day for the job. He's usually a professional. He's usually salaried to do just that. So what are you expecting of the ordinary person to do differently?

    Sincerely,
    Elchonon

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  • R

    Rachel -13 years ago

    Baal shem tov
    Not related to this article I wanted to ask what is the purpose of chasidus if we are still so divided as if each group is a religion of it own when you go to the catskills and you see all the different camps and groups havings their own bangalows and camps there is such a divide how are we supposed to connect and feel that we are one people with all the other communities how do we bring back the baal shem ideas and unify all the jewish people

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  • VD

    Vivian Deutsch -13 years ago

    Comment
    Have just unsubscribed from your list - I really took offense at your characterizing those who believe that Israel's best interest is a 2-state solution with a Palestinian state, i.e., in my view the Oslo process and negotiations for peace with the Palestinian Arabs are not evil, negligant or indifferent, rather are a sincere attempt to secure Israel's safety and survival. I also took offence at your defending and minimizing Shalom Rubashkin's real and serious crimes. If you represent the 'religious' point of view to other Jews, you have succeeded in alientating me. I hope this feedback will be useful to you, as I believe your intentions are honorable - but I think you are seriously misunderstanding a significant part of your audience's world views to the point of sounding like you yourself do not have a sound grasp on what is ethical. That is a pity, because I have enjoyed some of your essays, but I think you need to hear my reaction as probably others on your list share it.
    Thank you.

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  • MG

    Moshe Gruda -13 years ago

    OSLO AGREEMENT
    my dear r' y.y.
    i think that we were the first jews who could see the down fall for the jews by accepting the Oslo agriment..my disputes whith Tzwi Kolitz z.l. and shlomo Shamir and others attests to it.I Am looking of the articels which i wrote at thtat time..and i was praying that i should be wrong..buT..we must hope.M.G. G.

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  • M

    mordi -13 years ago

    fainting
    Why did the Chofetz Chaim not go to Poland himself ? It did not sound like a mission for the faint of heart.
    Historically, 1933 was the beginnings of a horror to come that would put Kashrut far behind the backburner. Too many personages are only wise in hindsight. This si not to belittle the highest standards of tzaddiks. It is intended to put another perspective on the matter. As the Amidah asks : Let all tzaddikim be returned to us in the World to Come.
    Thank you.

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  • RCR

    Rochel Chana RIven -13 years ago

    Thank you
    So well done. It really hits home.

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  • BNH

    Boruch N. Hoffinger -13 years ago

    The Shiur BS"D
    Excellent! Engaging!

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  • Y

    ycm -14 years ago

    thank you. Good shabbos!

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  • I

    Isaac -14 years ago

    To Simon
    The Alter Rebbe himself gives this path in Igeres Hakodesh ch. 25, which means that even according to the Alter Rebbe there is room for it.
    See the maamar of Yud Shevat 1970, that after davening, when the person is not involved any longer in the experience, they can and should try to sublimate the thought.

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  • A

    Admin -14 years ago

    @ Marcia Naomi Berger
    The music plays for about 1.5 minutes then the class starts.

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  • SB

    Simon Benion -14 years ago

    The Alter Rebbe is the Mishna Achroina
    If the Alter Rebbe clearly states in chapter 28 (and pretty much warns) Ve-al Yehi Shoita etc.., even when dealing with the Benunni, (which bt"w "E-le-ha Kol Adam Yimshoch") [as well please see the chapters leading up to that chapter, mainly 26, 27,] there is no real relevant practical message in tonight’s class. On the contrary very damaging. So if you explained this teaching/idea conceptually (and noted that this approach ids SOLELY pertinent to Tzadikim etc..), and then you said ‘my friends for me and for ALL the audients “Veal Yehi Shoita….” , and the way the Alter Rebbe demands is the only way to i.e Ratzon Hashem, and ANY other way pertaining all of us is purely DESTRUCTIVE), is one thing. But in such a manner??? What comes so forcefully to mind is the Mishna "Chachomim Hizharu B'Divreichem"......

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  • Y

    YG -14 years ago

    Abaye's Response to R' Zeira
    It seems that Abaye's response to Rav Zeira is based on a Halacha, "Ein Omdin L'hispallel ela mitoch koved rosh". One who approaches prayer without concentration is in the wrong state of mind and should not have commenced davening at that time.

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  • D

    didier -14 years ago

    question
    Dear Rabbi Jacobson,


    First of all i enjoy listening to your classes.

    I had a question in regards to praying.
    I read hebrew quite well but do not understand the words i am saying .

    I wold love to know what your thoughts are on this subject.

    Thank you .

    Didier Moskal

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  • KK

    Kayo Kaneko -14 years ago

    One of most valuable
    Baruch HaShem,
    Todah Rabah for one of the most valuable lessons of life.
    You give me Shalom in my heart.

    Shalom

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  • J

    jack -14 years ago

    question
    if the Besht says that sometimes you got to dismiss the thought, so in such instances you should say Shema twice?!

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  • MNB

    Marcia Naomi Berger -14 years ago

    May 16 talk on Chassidism and Pychoanalysis
    Talk didn't come up on phone, just music. Listened on computer though and valued it! Thank you!

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  • RPW

    Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone -14 years ago

    shiur
    fantastic as usual

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  • A

    Admin -14 years ago

    Admin
    To listen via phone
    throughout the week:
    (641) 715-3800
    Access Code: 38076#

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  • C

    CG -14 years ago

    How can I join the call?

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  • A

    Admin -14 years ago

    Admin
    The curriculum is uploaded right below the video.

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  • A

    Anonymous -14 years ago

    where can I get the curriculum for tonights class.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Shavous -- Yartzeit of the Baal Shem Tov

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • May 16, 2010
  • |
  • 3 Sivan 5770
  • |
  • 3034 views

Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov, Rabbi Gavriel Noach and Rivki Holtzberg and all of the Mumbai Kedoshim.

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