Chassidus Applied: How to Write a Winning Essay

Mrs. Nechama Dina Hendel is a young Shlucha and mother of six living in Jerusalem Israel. She is a teacher at Mayanot Seminary, as well as co-director of Chabad of Baka. Last year she wrote the winning essay of MyLife: Essay Contest and won the $10,000. With the third season of the MyLife: Essay Contest in full swing, and the deadline for submissions just one week away, she offers words of encouragement and some tips for writing a winning essay.

“I initially found out about the contest from a flier hanging in Mayanot, and wondered if it was possible for me to win,” says Mrs. Hendel. “I am very passionate about Chassidus and teaching Chassidus—Chassidus has been a tremendous source of strength in my own life—so I was very excited by this initiative. It was a thrilling challenge, putting the gems of Chassidus onto paper to hopefully inspire myself and others as well.”

“I have been greatly impacted by the innovative teachings of Chassidus on success, so I chose that as my topic. I learned and relearned the Rebbe’s sichos, wanting to be accurate and true to the sources. I found myself dreaming about Chassidus while I was working on my essay!”

“Writing a ‘Chassidus Applied’ essay requires commitment and passion, but your efforts are sure to be rewarded. The process of the research and internalization of Chassidus, and sharing the lessons you learned, is truly uplifting and fulfilling. You never know who may read your essay and be transformed by it, including yourself!”

When writing your own Chassidus Applied essay, Mrs. Hendel offers the following tips:

  1. Choose an idea in Chassidus that you are passionate about.
  2. Spend time contemplating the idea, and try to distill the issues or challenges that it can help you address.
  3. Revisit the sources, and make sure to stay true to the sources.
  4. Sit down and put the words on the page. Don’t worry so much about the length and format, you can always go back and rewrite.
  5. Trim. Edit.
  6. Make sure the essay fits the guidelines as set forth on the contest webpage.


There is only one week left to submit your essay to the MyLife: Chassidus Applied Essay Contest! Submit an essay applying a concept in Chassidus to solve a contemporary issue or challenge by February 26, 2017. The grand prize winner will be awarded $10,000, the second place winner $3,600, and the third-place winner $1,000.

Visit for contest rules and guidelines and to submit an essay.

The MyLife: Chassidus Applied Essay contest is made possible by a grant from the Meromim Foundation.

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