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Guarding Your Seed of Eternity

The Jewish Perspective on How to Respect the Procreative Seed of Life

1 hr 1 min

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Guarding Your Seed of Eternity: The Jewish Perspective on How to Respect the Procreative Seed of Life

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  • SM

    Shaya Mintz -7 years ago

    Beautiful and deep. Rabbi YY, your shiurim are delivered with reverence of Hashem and are enjoyed like sweet cold water quenching the thirsty. Thank you. Shaya

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  • M

    mmg613 -9 years ago

    Shalom aleichem rav, I was just listening
    to your shiur labeled guarding your seed The rav said that someone asked the rebbe how come the sons of Yakov Aveinu carried his coffin if the minhag is not to due to what it says in kabbalah about the spiritual children who also follow the coffin. Which the rebbe answered that rash says that when yakov told revenue that your are "reishes aonie" means that reuven was the first emission that yakov experienced that's why his sons were able to hold/follow the coffin. My question is, it took Rachel eimanu years to conceive a child so obviously yakov emitted seed which did not end in childbirth,so what happened to all of those unborn spiritual children? Why were his sons allowed to follow the coffin?
    Answer by rabbi jacobson:
    The shuir on Vayechi?
    When a husband is living with his wife, even if no children result from their union, it is still a mitzvah and a holy act. Intimacy between a husband and a wife, where the sees of life is not wasted, is a sacred act according to Judaism. Even couples who are infertile may be together, and of course couples who are after the age of giving birth. Same with couples during pregnancy and the like. I hope it is clearer now.

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  • Y

    Yankel -10 years ago

    Important and timely
    This is very timely and helpful for me.

    Thank you so much rabbi Jacobson.

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  • DB

    David Benveniste,HaLevy,Tsfat -10 years ago

    The Rebbe Is Truth
    I once was told by my doctor to go to the ER in Tsfat.I brought the book with the sicha of the Rebbe 'Yaacov Didn't Die' from 1991,because I didn't know if they would admit me to the hospital.I was. A young married Litvishe man was in the next bed. He asked me if I'm Chabad,then said "your Rebbe is dead." That night he asked me what I was reading,then asked me to read him a little.After two minutes he said "wow!" After five more minutes he said " It's the most beautiful thing he ever heard" After one and a half hours until it finished he thanked me profusely. The next morning before I left,I apologized for being to aggresive in my beliefs about the Rebbe's status.He said.." No,no NO!" He then stood up , raised his fist up and shouted " Yechi Adenenu Rabenu V'Rabenu Melech Ha Moshich LeOlam Voed!" I have a witness whowas in the third bed,a young "gingie" Irish Israeli soldier,who lives in Kadita and is a neighbor of my long time friend who I gave his Bar Mitvah in 1993 in Bet Chabad Tsfat.-Dovid Benveniste,

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  • CS

    chana sharfstein -10 years ago

    Lecture of rabbi YY Jacobson
    It always amazes me how the parsha of Vayechi parallels the life of my Father, Rabbi Yacov Yisroel Zuber OBM whose Yahrzeit is commemorated at this time 14th day of Teves.I He was sent as a young man in his early '30's to Sweden where my siblings and i were raised. Your discussion on Menashe and Ephraim, on the importance on memory, on attching ourselves to the past. a regarding  Epraim, redeveloping yiddishkeit in strange surroundings, rebuilding and reawakening in "barren" territory. And this lecture that Yacov never died as he is alive in his offspring. My Father replanted our small family to the United States where today B'li Ayin Horah, there are more than 500 offspring, wonderrful productive members of our Chassidic beautiful world. The children grandchildren, great grandchildren and the great great grandchildren hopefully will continue to follow in his footsteps to demonstrate that Yacov is alive. Tragically my Father lost his life in a brutal criminal act in Boston when he was only in his mid-fifties, but he instilled in his children while raising them in Sweden with the deep love and understanding ot being chassidic offspring. This could only have been accomplished with the blessings of the Frierdike Rebbe who sent him to Stockholm, Sweden as his Shliach. Although his life was cut short,he lives on in the worthwhile lives of his offspring. May his life continue to always be an inspiration and blessing or us all..

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  • Y

    yakov -11 years ago

    moshiach now
    nice empowering words of wisdom

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  • LS

    Levi Silman -12 years ago

    :)
    BH



    Very nice Shiur. Thank you Rabbi Jacobson.

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  • AH

    Ari Hirim -13 years ago

    Spiritual Warriors
    Clearly, you have had the spiritual strength to tackle this issue for our time, deal with it in the forum of spiritual struggle and conveyed the essence of the issue ---> our ability to win over our own evil inclination. Kol HaKavod! May you continue to provide elevation and inspiration on the most intimate subjects to many souls around the world.

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  • Y

    YYJ -14 years ago

    To Sue
    There are a number of readers who do not understand the Hebrew terms. They Do not know what Hashem means and even the word Torah is unclear to them.

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  • S

    Sue -14 years ago

    Say it as it is
    Why would you choose to use secular terms such as Bible over Torah or G-D instead of Hashem when the Hebrew words are much richer than the English translation? I do assume that most people reading your column are familiar with these words and if not then they can probably find all these words in the same dictionary.
    Why water it down to kids talk?

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  • MH

    Michael Hollander -14 years ago

    there is no excuse for bad behavior!
    I come from a family of survivors & also freedom fighters...their psyche wasn't the best, but all they had & we are always trying to justify rudeness! I don't except it as an excuse for edicate any more...sorry

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  • M

    Michael -14 years ago

    Good Article-Changing World Doesn't Help!
    Thank you Rabbi for your article. It says a great deal about humanity and how theology and psychology interplay with each other. The unfortunate truth is in our changing world people often are confused about the heart and mind symbolism you discuss, leading to cruel and destructive actions among each other and the world at large. I believe, as we become more techno-savvy in today's age of convenience and entitlement we have a harder time to distinguish between our heart and mind; between forgiveness and hatred. We go with what feels right at the first moment and don't turn back. This in the end determines our ability to relate with others, build/destroy relationships and eventually predict our own outcome in life. I believe we as a human race have a great deal to go in understanding how to forgive, how to rebuild and how to not let the neurosis of life overshadow our abilities. Much of this involves letting go, which is a difficult concept to understand, yet do when as a society we put "expectation" above all else. To teach this lesson one must truly reflect on one's own self which is harder said than done. The lesson of failures and tragedy are great way to reach this point in life.

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  • D

    dan -14 years ago

    error
    it says mOshpatim instead of mIshpatim.

    Very nice article!

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  • J

    joyce -14 years ago

    thanks
    Dear Rabbi:
    Thank you for sending your essay to me. Yocheved Joyce Freedman, Boca Raton, Florida

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  • F

    france -14 years ago

    brilliant
    BRILLIANT .
    THANK YOU.

    FRAN DANIELS (TORONTO

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  • M

    mum -14 years ago

    nice
    I heard someone give a talk yesterday that i liked, and now i see he took it from this article. Very nice. TY

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  • T

    Tsivia -14 years ago

    Emotions=Children
    That Emotions are compared to children is enlightening. Seems to me a person of high character(good midos) has derech eretz- at the heart of which is respect for another's feelings.Just read
    any Charles Dicken's novel and you will see highlighted the level of a persons character by how they treat children(and women)- with horrific abuse or with respect and tenderness.I think we have evolved for the good.You describe the
    downside,'emotion worship'.I celebrate the redemption of Emotions-Not worship, but healthy respect.Better a correctable imbalance on the side of 'Emotion'than G.F. the opposite.Thanks for your brilliant article!

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  • S

    SIMA -14 years ago

    BRILLIANT
    EXCELLENT!Beautiful piece!!

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  • YM

    Yitzchok Michael -14 years ago

    Emotions (Your Essay)
    BS"D

    That was a great essay, Rabbi Jacobson. I especially appreciated the line that says, "The fact that our emotions are not always in sync with our ideals and values does not reduce us to moral failures."

    I think your point is that we can be honest about what we feel--but what we feel does not necessarily determine how we act. If we are mature adults, WE determine how we behave, based on Torah as a guide. How about that?

    Yasher Koach!

    Yitzchok from New Haven

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  • D

    david -14 years ago

    thanks
    Rabbi,

    Thanks for this.

    David

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  • B

    bassie -14 years ago

    great essay
    great essay

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  • RYL

    Rabbi Yeheskel Lebovic -14 years ago

    How to Deal with Destructive Emotions
    One of your best articles!

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  • I

    issac -14 years ago

    answer
    As said in class, Avraham and yitzhcak were not mitasei shlaymah, so one part of them went to eisav and yishmael, and got lost. But with yaakov all of him is bachayim.
    He is the father of kelal Yisroel, every Jew comes from him. And every jew will do teshuvah. So all of him is bachayim.

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  • E

    eli -14 years ago

    question
    Thanks for your Shiruim. how do we understand Avrahom Yitzchok Moshe ...........? only Yaakov every seed of life is "Bachayim" ?

    Thanks
    Eli

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  • Q

    question -14 years ago

    so what are to say about Avrohom Yizchok Moshe etc...?

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  • AR

    Ariella Ruderman -14 years ago

    art
    cool art-oh and great class too- especially as I work on a collage campus and this issue comes up from time to time

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  • E

    Elki -14 years ago

    It took me close to a week to ponder just what I wanted to write and how to write it. Now I want to post it before the next shiur.
    Rabbi Jacobson, as only he can, took a very sensitive subject, spoke about it with dignity, based all his words on Talmudic sources, without any tinge of the topic being "difficult" to transmit. That's no easy feat.
    I am a woman, and the "take-home pay" was for me and not just men. Rabbi Jacobson, Yasher Kochacha once again.
    I am eternally grateful to David and Eda Schottenstein for their unbelievable generosity and commitment to these one-of-a-kind shiurim.

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  • ML

    meira lerman -14 years ago

    questions and excersizes
    B"H
    3. Questions and Exercises
    1. What is the logic behind the sequence of the four statements made by Rabbi Yitzchak to Rabbi Nachman?
    The logic can be easily summed up in French “Shershe la fam”. (It’s not always about a woman presented in a process but lack of a right one as well.)
    It might be true both on personal level and Divine. That’s why G-d chose us to be his spouse.
    Just recall historical sequence: polygamic people, their elimination in Flood and oil as the result of G-d’s first experience… And now we wonder why oil brings so many destructions... (Do I sound heretical?)
    2. What is the meaning of the statement, “Jacob our father did not die.”
    I am not sure that Rabbi Yitzchak meant exactly the same but as we can read between the lines... Jacob was blessed with a lot of things but his wives were best of his blessings.
    Who made him so productive?
    Standing in line for having him for a night they never left him a chance to “escape with fantasies”... As a result he gave birth to a very healthy generation of Jews, who perpetuate his life both in physical and spiritual dimension.
    3. Who was Rachav?
    She was a great grandma of many prophets and prophetesses.
    Why does mentioning her name twice have such a powerful impact?
    She had a great power to transform reality for those who knew her to the point that transformation had been revealed not only spiritually but physically as well ( Two times, different dimensions). Rabbi Yitzchak gave her as an example of transformation spiritual into physical and visa verso.
    My opinion is that it has nothing to do with those cases of “wasteful emission of seeds intentionally”. It comes to a category of Divine mystery. Difference between these two cases is similar to difference between killing intentionally and unintentionally…
    4. Why does Judaism strongly oppose the wasteful emission of seed?
    Because it equates of killing a life intentionally on a physical level. On spiritual level, as the most sacred element of the universe, it draws most destructive forces into micro and macro cosmos…
    5. Why were Jacob’s children permitted to follow his coffin, notwithstanding the Kabbalistic caution against this?
    Because there was no “feculence” or “slime” arousing from his past. He managed to channel all his passion productively.

    6. What was the deeper meaning of the blessing of Rabbi Yitzchak to Rabbi Nachman that “Your children should be like you” ?
    He gave his teacher the most powerful blessing for all his life or he might just flatter his habits.

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  • YD

    yakov dovid -14 years ago

    the custem in Yerushlayim is reserved only during the funerel of a father not of a mother, and the reason is understood as explained in the lesson
    kol tuv

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  • F

    Friend -14 years ago

    correction
    in the pdf to the class.
    on th eenglish side.
    it says sourse one comes from the talmud sotah
    it probebly is ment to be talmud tanis.

    thanks.

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  • I

    isaac -14 years ago

    to Yochanan
    That's a question not on the class. Obviously Reb Yitzchak meant: Anyone who knew her who says Rochan Rochav. This happens often that the Gemarah qualifies a statement. the wording "kal" is telling us the novel idea that by just saying her name one expereinces a seminal discharge.

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  • YG

    Yochanan Gordon -14 years ago

    Kol Ha'omer Rachav Rachav
    Accroding to Rav Nachmans answer to Rav Yitzchak it is shver why the Gemara wrote "Kol' Ha'omer" Lechoirah if it is referring to yoda'ah umakirah it should have said so from the outset?

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  • A

    Anonymous -14 years ago

    toda!
    Percise words, thats make us understand and feel the importance of how to conduct our precious life!
    thank you!

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  • C

    C.G. -14 years ago

    Amazing
    So strong.
    so many boys need to hear this.

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  • YS

    Yael Sucher -14 years ago

    Parshat Vayechi
    I am always so very inspired by the Rabbi's lectures!
    Ilan, Ilan( the song) made me think again about my beloved cousin's son, Ilan Ramon, who's memory will be etched in my soul forever.
    He lives on as well....

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  • A

    admin -14 years ago

    Send it to Friends
    In the meantime, you can email them a link.

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  • A

    Anonymous -14 years ago

    how can we send it to freinds can you add this fiture??

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  • I

    Isaac -14 years ago

    Great ides with that song
    The song at the end of the class on the words of the Talmud you exponded on was a really nice treat.

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  • YG

    Yochanan Gordon -14 years ago

    Class Description
    I did not view the shiur yet. However, the Rebbes father, in Likkutei Levi Yitzchak, has at least a thirty page exposition on the Gemara quoted above

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  • B

    batya -14 years ago

    Brilliant
    Thank you for your weekly dose of Chassidic analysis on the weekly Torah portion! It is intellectually stimulating and spiritually nourishing for the mind and soul. Yasher Koach!

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  • R

    Rivkahleah -14 years ago

    The Emissary
    Wow!!! Thanks so much for this fantastic shiur!!!! I'll applye it to my own life if I can!!!!

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  • J

    Joe -14 years ago

    wow
    Heavy ideas. I need to think about this!

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  • A

    Admin -14 years ago

    Class Description
    1. Class Description:



    There is a fascinating conversation recorded in the Talmud. Two Talmudic sages are dining together, when one asks the other to share an idea. The response? “Never talk while you eat, lest you choke on the food!” After the meal, he obliges to his colleague’s request, and makes a radical statement: “Jacob, our father, never died!”



    But wait. The conversation grows stranger. The sage continues: “Whoever mentions the name of the famous Biblical harlot Rachav, experiences an immediate seminal emission.”



    And then, before they depart, he asks his colleague to bless him. The sage engages in a long metaphor as an introduction to the final blessing: May your children be like you.



    What are we to make of this conversation? What is the logic behind the sequence of their dialogue? This class will show how this Talmudic episode reveals the Jewish perspective on the seed of life, the essence of life, and how Judaism looks at man’s drive to reproduce. Is it merely, as Darwin wants us to believe, a drive fueled by self-propagation, or is there something holier and infinitely more powerful in the act of reproduction?

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Class Vayechi

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • January 2, 2012
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Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov And in the merit of Yetta Alta Shula,"Aliya," Schottenstein

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