8:00pm: How Does the Torah Truly View Women?

This week’s edition of MyLife: Chassidus Applied with Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Episode 146, will air tonight, Sunday, here on CrownHeights.info, beginning at 8:00pm. This week Rabbi Jacobson will address the topics: How Does the Torah Truly View Women? Is “Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut” the Answer to Every Hardship? What’s Wrong with Whistling? At What Point is it Okay to Quit My Job? Is the Choice to Vaccinate Children a Personal Decision?

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Why do we say an extra Bracha on the birth of a boy but not a girl? Why is the blessing that’s given to a wrongly-accused Isha Sota a bracha to have sons if she only had daughters until then? Why is a father told to daven for a son during the first 40 days of pregnancy? All these scenarios in Torah seem to contradict what Chassidus teaches about the equal but different roles of men and women. If they’re truly equally valued, then why are there so many cases in which we clearly see that a son is the bigger prize? What’s the truth about Torah’s view of women?

“As far as I understand, the role of mekabel/ woman, is equally vital, valued and important as a man, but as the moon, it is seen in this world/ galus, as less than, or smaller, although in the eyes of G-d, both avodos complement each other and are equally important and necessary. If this understanding is wrong, please correct me. However, if it is true, then I find many cases in Torah which so clearly favor a son over a daughter very puzzling as they don’t fit in with above. I must be missing something with my understanding of Torah’s view on women. I would appreciate clarity.”

Whenever someone finds themselves in a difficult situation, the chassidishe advice given – based on the words of the Tzemech Tzedek – is tracht gut vet zein gut, “think positively and the results will be positive.” Is this response applicable to every hardship? Are there times when we should mentally prepare ourselves for a different outcome?

“I recently heard a story that the Rebbe told someone, whose mother was on her deathbed, to be prepared for the worst and whatever happens will be alright. Why didn’t the Rebbe advise them to practice tracht gut vet zein gut? Doesn’t the Rebbe say in a famous sicha (Likkutei Sichos vol 26) that even in a hopeless situation one can turn things around just by thinking positively?”

Just as in the spiritual sense, the wellbeing of people is a communal effort, where one’s actions affects the entire Jewish body, in the physical sense as well we are responsible for each other’s wellbeing. Does vaccinating our children fall under the same category of responsibility? If leaving children unvaccinated can put others at risk does the choice to vaccinate still remain a personal decision?

“I live in a city where the frum community has recently been effected by an outbreak of measles. While people who are immunized are not in great danger, expectant mothers can be. Most of the local schools have requested that their students to be up to date with their immunization records or may face suspension. My question is as follows: There are those, for reasons known to them, who choose not to immunize their children; this places themselves and other pregnant women in grave danger. Is there anything we can do about this or is it a personal decision that no one can question? Do they have a din of a roidef? What does the Rebbe say about this? Please address this ASAP as this is a big concern in our community!”

What are the criteria for staying in a job that one is really unhappy with? What point is the deciding factor for quitting? Does our responsibility for providing for family always trump our personal happiness?

“I have quit my job because I was not satisfied. Have I done the right thing?”

“I have a question in regards to Parnassah. I find it difficult to get involved in a job that I’m happy in, because a lot of the time the pay isn’t enough for my growing family. I obviously feel compelled to take a higher paying job although it may not be as satisfying. Does the Rebbe discuss this issue at all? Is there any clear direction from Chassidus?”

These will be among the relevant issues Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 146th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied.

He will also review the following essays submitted in the last MyLife: Chassidus Applied essay contest: “Abating Doubt: The Simple Remedy for Happiness” by Mushkie Lerman; “The Imperfect You” by Tal Lewis; “Self-regulation: A Basis for Transformation” by Aileen Ariella Samimi. These and other essays can be read online at meaningfullife.com/essays.

And finally, the Chassidus question of the week: Please explain the kabbalistic concept of reshimu. What is its role and what implications does it have in our lives? I also heard that the Kopister Rebbe took issue with the chiddush of the Rebbe Maharash who wrote that the letters of the reshimu were not impacted by the tzimtzum. Can you please explain that as well?

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 at meaningfullife.com/mylife.

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

  • Chassidus Applied to Shemos and Mevarchim Shvat
  • Is the role of women actually equally valued as the role of men? Why do so many scenarios in Halacha and Gemara imply differently?
  • Is ‘tracht gut vet zein gut’ always the answer to hardships?
  • Can we choose not to vaccinate our children when it may affect others?
  • At what point should we consider quitting a job?
  • Is there an issue with whistling?
  • How can a closed person open up more easily?
  • Chassidus and laxity: follow-up
  • Chassidus question: Can you please explain the kabbalistic concept of reshimu? What is its role and implications?
  • MyLife Essays: Abating Doubt: A Simple Remedy for Happiness; The Imperfect You; Self-regulation: A Basis for Transformation

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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