The ultimate spiritual experience in the Diaspora was always the study of Torah. But that single path split into many when a few great rabbis began teaching ways to enrich our Torah study with philosophy, kindness, and song. Meet the towering figures of Jewish spirituality who revolutionized how many Jews today view their relationship with God.
Chabad - Even when Chassidus first exploded on the scene in 18th century Eastern Europe, it was not monolithic. Each of its founders had a unique approach to attaining spirituality. The Chabad movement took the intellectual path, as seen in "The Tanya." Citing this definitive work on Chabad Chassidus, Rabbi Wein explains its esoteric concepts of the nature of God and the cosmos. This lecture, which ties together kabbalah with Einstein's theory of relativity, will both stimulate your mind and elevate your soul.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov - Rebbe Nachman aimed to fix what he believed was an erroneous trend in Chassidus. Though the Baal Shem Tov intended to bring spirituality to the Jewish masses, Rebbe Nachman felt his disciples had lost sight of that mission by making Chassidus too intellectual and complicated. His own emphasis on simple, heartfelt conversations with God over strict adherence to the siddur made him popular with some and controversial to others. But even with opposition and even without a Rebbe to succeed Rebbe Nachman, Breslov Chassidus has grown exponentially and is now enjoying a revival that brings thousands to Rebbe Nachman's gravesite every Rosh Hashanah.
The Kotzker Rebbe - The Kotzker Rebbe's approach to spirituality was a no-holds-barred, all out frontal attack on false piety. Setting high standards for himself and his Chassidim, the Kotzker Rebbe insisted that everyone face the brutal truth about themselves no matter how much it hurt. A fearsome figure who challenged the entire Chassidic establishment, he repelled many, but on hearing of his life and achievements, it is impossible not to admire him.
The Mussar Movement - While Chassidim and Misnagdim fought with each other and the haskala lampooned both sides, Rabbi Yisroel Salanter introduced his path of self-improvement into the fray. With characteristic mussar lessons and the opposite approaches of Slobodka and Novaradok, Rabbi Wein paints a comprehensive portrait of the movement that swept the yeshiva world.
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|Author||Rabbi Berel Wein|