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Yud Tes Kislev 5771 (2010) Fabrengen: One Good Morning Changed the World

An Evening of Song and Inspiration in Flatbush, NY

3 hr 16 min

Class Summary:

Yud Tes Kislev 5771/2011 fabrengen, at Mayan Yisroel, in Flatbush, NY.

Talk 1: Yosef asks two prisoners: “Why are your depressed today?” and as a result of this question, the world is saved from hunger. Chassidus shows the path to a life filled with joy and celebration based on the awareness that G-d is everywhere and in everything.

Talk 2: Chassidus is the “Song of Songs” of Judaism—that biblical book which taught us that earth is a mirror of heaven, that physical love can be an expression of spiritual love, and that G-d and the world are one. The definition of true holiness in Judaism—when it elevates and sanctifies the ordinary matters of life. Why did Rabbi Akiva call the Song of Songs “the holiest of the holy?” Why was the tribe of Levi given the gift of holiness?

Talk 3: The Chassidic explanation for the rift between Yosef and his brothers—for Yosef taught the path of integration, of revealing the Onenss of G-d within a fragmented and lowly world. The secret of the Kesones Passim, the colorful tunic which Yaakov made for Yosef. Chassidus revealed the essence of the revolutionary idea of Judaism—that even nature is a manifestation of Divine energy.

Talk 4: The explanation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in a story where the Alter Rebbe said of a young Chassid Reb Isaac of Homil: “A young man can become an old man.” There are two approaches how to reach our desired goals in life. One is by emphasizing the void; the other is by behaving as though we have accomplished our goals. Chassidus teaches the latter path. You are never a victim of your condition; you generate the energy that comes back to you from other people.

Talk 5: A fascinating Midrash about Reuven, Aaron and Boaz teaches us about the power of each of our thoughts, words, and actions. We never realize the impact of our actions and gestures. Chassidus blew a new vitality into a spiritually comatose Jewish nation. It also planted a little of the Moshiach-light in a long and dark exile. It is this consciousness we need today.

Please leave your comment below!

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    Deborah -12 years ago

    Thank you Mark
    Thanks you Mark Tanzer for adjusting our view of what Nietzsche was really saying.  Your words allowed me to see that where we come from informs our attitudes.  I think you got it right and that the preconceived notions of the religious world often use a lens that bends toward their own ideas of the outside world.  Too bad because both are paths to G_d. 

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  • S

    Serge -12 years ago

    Your essay is the best and most helpful I have ever read on the subject, I thank you for your heart and soul that went into it.

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  • DMM

    David Morrison/Ben Moshe -12 years ago

    Letters to Nietzsche

    I am the author of The Secret of the Jews: Letters to Nietzsche.    I am a "Torah-observant" "Frum" "Shomer Shabbas" Jew and I am an unbending, long-time admirer of and supporter of Chabad.  I gave presentations of my book in both Chabad Intown of Atlanta and Chabad in Birmingham, Alabama. On the back cover of my book are the following words by Shalom Dovber Liposkar, Chabad Rabbi of the Shul of Bal Harbour:

       Fascinating book. This masterful construction of the most profound and fundamental concepts of Judaism in the form of a correspondence follows the effective style of Samson Raphael Hirsch's Nineteen Letters and Rabbi Yehuda Halevi's classic Kuzari. ...To evoke Nietzsche's phi8losophy and perspective as a positive background wherein Jewishness excels and stand out is a very novel approach that will undoubtedly excite scholars and lay people alike. For those searching for the truth The Secret of the Jews is an invaluable contribution to the existing literature. This is a work which I highly recommend.

       The book will be available as an e-book in 1-2 weeks at http://www.peopleoftheebook.... In my book, there are many hundreds of footnotes and quotes from Nietzsche's writing alongside our sacred texts. I will cite a few. The main point to be made is that linking NIetzsche to Nazi thought, directly or indirectly is an unjust slander. A.L. Benjamin's comment above that As a further aside, "you should also consider that Nietzsche disowned (or at least was extremely displeased with) his åsister, either because she was an anti-semite or because she was married to one," is correct yet understated (see Peters, H.F, Zarathustra's Sister: The Case of Elisabeth and Friedrich Nietsche, New York:Crown, 1977) . A few quotes from Nietzsche follow:

     1) "One pays heavily for coming to power: power makes stupid. The Germans, once called the people of thinkers, do they still think at all today? The Germans are now bored wtih the spirit...Ddutschland, Deutschland uber alles, I fear that was the end of German philosophy."  

    2) The Will to Power. A book for thinking, nothing else. That it is written in German is untimely to say the least.: I wish I had written it in French, so that it might not appear as a confirmation of any reichdeutschen aspirations. 

    3) "The Jews...are beyond doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race not living in Europe; they know how to prevail even under the worst conditons...The Jews, if they wanted it - or if they were forced into it, which seems to be what the anti-Semites want - could even now have preponderence...over Europe; that they are not working and planning for that is equally certain." 

    4) "The meaning of our cheerfulness - the greatest recent event - that "God is dead,' the the belief in the Christian [emphasis mine] god has become unbelievable - is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe."

    5) That we find no God...is not what differentiates us, but that we experience that what has been revered as God, not as "godlike" but as miserable...If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him."

    6) "Anyone who believes in culture is thereby saying: 'I see above me something higher and more human than I am; let everyone help me to attain it...it is hard to create in anyone this condition of intrepid self-knowledge because it is impossible to teach love; for it is love alone that can bestow upon the soul, not only a clear, discrimination and self-contemptuous view of itself, but also a desire to look beyond itself  and to seek with all its might for a higher self as yet still concealed from him."

    7) [Five of Nietzsche's many aphorisms].

        a) Quiet Fruitfulness - The born aristocrats of the spirit are not too zealous; their creations appear from the tree and fall on a quiet autumn evening...not quickly pushed aside by something new. The desire to create c0ontinuously is vulgar and betrays jealousy, envy, ambition..."

       b) Lack of Friends - A lack of friends may be put down to envy or presumtion. Many owe their friends only to the forunate circumstance that they have no occasion for envy.

       c) Retarded and anticipatory men - The unpleasant character who is full of mistrust, consumed with envy whenever competitors or neighbors achieve a success, and violently opposes all opinions not his own, demonstrates that he belongs to an earlier stage of culture and is thus a relic.

        d) Acknowledging heirs - He who has founded something great in a selfless attitude of mind takes pains to rear heirs for himself. To see an opponent in every possible heir of one's work and to live in a state of self-defense against them is a sign of a tyrannical, ignoble nature.

       e) What is needed first - A man who refuses to become master over his wrath, his choler and revengefulness, and his lusts, and attepts to become a master in anything else, is as stupid as the faqrmer who stakes out his field beside a torrential stream without protecting himself against it.

       I look forward to dialogue with those interested in this subject.

             [email protected]


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  • V

    Vicent -12 years ago

    never mind
    Who cares what these so called philossofers or how the heck do you write this word have to say?

    Specially Mr Nietsche. G'd is dead? Really? Don't make me laugh.

    This snake's vernom, I can not read this. I want to, but I never can. It makes no sense. Do not read this. Do not pay attention.

    Forget his name.

    Do not bring this back to the surface.

    Do not honor it this way.

    Just ignore. Just laugh about it.

    Just forget.

    Snake is psychology also.

    Snake is philosofy also.

    They see nature behind the miracle.

    I see miracle behind nature.

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  • N

    Naomi -12 years ago

    Excellent article
    Thank you so much for your excellent article. It is so good to see a reconciliation between the G-dly and the seemingly un-G-dly. And G-d Himself brings us to this point -- "Come to Pharo"! I hope that soon the inner G-dly nature of everything will be revealed in this physical world. Thanks again.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • November 25, 2010
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  • 18 Kislev 5771
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Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein In the loving memory of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak ben Zalman Yuda Deitch and Alta Shula Swerdlov And in honor of the birth of their daughter Yetta Alta Shula, "Aliyah,"

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