8:00pm: How Important Are Minhagim?

This week’s edition of MyLife: Chassidus Applied with Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Episode 158, will air tonight, Sunday, here on CrownHeights.info, beginning at 8:00pm. This week Rabbi Jacobson will address the topics: Chassidus Applied to Pesach; How Important are Minhagim? Do Alcoholics Belong at the Seder? Should Spouses Be Impassive to Each Other in Public? What is the Cornerstone of a Jewish Education?

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“I invited my brother, a recovering drugs and alcohol addict to our seder. We’ve learned that he recently relapsed and is at the brink of another downward spiral. I don’t know what to do about having him at our seder. He can be impulsive and perhaps it’ll be dangerous to have him at a table with lots of wine. I can envision the seder being ruined for all of us if he were to have an outburst. Should I disinvite him? It will definitely be hurtful to him and my parents, but maybe that’s the responsible and right thing to do?”

How important are minhagim? Why is it that Jews have more stringencies and minhagim to follow today than ever before? If these additions were not critical back then, what changed that made them necessary today?

The month of Nissan marks the birth of the Jewish nation, and thus the birth of the Jewish identity. What does Chassidus say about helping children find and express their Jewish identity? And how does this apply to special children?

What is considered appropriate public affection? Should couples be impassive to each other in public?

These are among the relevant topics that Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 158th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied.

He will also review the winning essays of this year’s MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Trees and Maps: How to Stop Being a People Pleaser” by Moishe Chakoff; “The Ultimate Psychology” by Shraga Crombi; “How to Deal with Difficult People” by Hadassah Silberstein;and “ADD- The Key to Living A Productive Life” by Sara Blau. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.

And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Why is maror placed in the middle of the kaarah (Seder Plate)? Since maror symbolizes the bitterness endured by the Jews in Egypt, it seems that it would be associated with gevurah. So why isn’t maror placed on the left side, in the kabbalistic position of gevurah?

This hour-long dose of insights is meant to inform, inspire and empower us by applying the teachings of Chassidus to help us face practical and emotional challenges and difficulties in our personal lives and relationships. To have your question addressed, please submit it atmeaningfullife.com/mylife.

The topics in this Sunday’s hour-long broadcast will include:

  • Chassidus Applied to Pesach
  • Yud Gimmel Nissan- The Tzemach Tzedek’s 151st yahrzeit
  • Should I invite someone who battles alcoholism to the Seder?
  • Minhagim: Why should I?
  • How important is cultivating a Jewish identity in special children?
  • Must we wait for 360 billion souls to be born before Moshiach comes?!
  • What is appropriate public affection between spouses?
  • Chassidus Question: Why is maror, representing bitterness of gevurah, not placed on the left of the kaarah?
  • MyLife Essays: Trees and Maps: How to Stop Being a People Pleaser; The Ultimate Psychology; How to Deal with Difficult People; ADD- The Key to Living A Productive Life


In what has now become a staple in so many people’s lives, MyLife: Chassidus Applied addresses questions that many people are afraid to ask and others are afraid to answer. When asked about the sensitive topics he has been addressing, Rabbi Simon Jacobson commented, “I understand that the stakes are high and great care has to be taken when speaking openly, but the silence and lack of clarity on matters plaguing the community can no longer go unaddressed. The stakes of not providing answers are even higher.”

The on-going series has provoked a significant reaction from the community, with thousands of people viewing each live broadcast and hundreds of questions pouring in week after week. At the root of every question and personal challenge tackled by the series is the overarching question: Does Judaism have the answers to my personal dilemmas?

In inimitable “Jacobson-fashion”, the broadcast answers people’s questions in simple, clear language while being heavily sourced. Each episode is jam-packed with eye-opening advice from the Rebbeim, gleaned from uncovering surprising gems in their letters, sichos and maamorim that address our personal issues with disarming relevance. Simultaneously, Rabbi Jacobson is able to crystallize a concept quickly, succinctly, and poignantly for any level of listener.

All episodes are immediately available for viewing in the MLC’s archive and can be downloaded as MP3s for listening on the go.

Questions may be submitted anonymously at meaningfullife.com/mylife.

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