"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Friday, August 30, 2013

"Sharing the Burden" Through Torah Study

“Sharing the Burden”
Through Torah Study

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

Complementary Roles

The Gemara states:[1]
Rabbi Abba bar Kahana said: Were it not for David, Yoav would not have done battle, and were it not for Yoav, David would not have engaged in Torah. As it is written, “David performed justice and righteousness for all his people, and Yoav ben Tzeruya was in charge of the army.” What does it meant that “David performed justice and righteousness for all his people?” [He was able to,] because Yoav was taking care of the army. And what is the meaning of “Yoav was in charge of the army?” So that David could perform justice and righteousness for all his people.
Yoav and David HaMelech were partners who each valued the other’s contribution. David HaMelech knew that since the Jewish people had enemies, and since Torah instructs us “We do not rely on a miracle,”[2] he needed an army of soldiers led by a mighty general to lead the battles against the enemies of the Jewish people. This general was Yoav.

But David HaMelech himself did not go to war, although he was fully capable of doing so. He chose, instead, to remain behind in order to study Torah and teach it to the people.

Yet Yoav had no complaints. He knew that David HaMelech’s contribution was indispensable. “Were it not for David, Yoav would not have done battle.” He did not view David HaMelech’s choice as shirking responsibility, never mind as cowardice, G–d forbid. He knew that most fundamental principle of the Jewish faith: Success at any endeavor comes not from one’s efforts, intelligence, and strength, but from divine blessings—“it is the blessing of Hashem that gives us wealth.”[3]

Yes, accomplishment require a human investment, for Hashem created the natural order and desires that we follow its laws. But one who relies on his own power and does not combine reasonable efforts with prayers for divine assistance denies the existence of Hashem as “the One Who sustains the entire world with His goodness, grace, kindness, and compassion”[4]—as the Provider of all our needs. The Torah warns us against this: “And you may come to say in your heart that your strength and the might of your hand made you this wealth, but remember that it is Hashem, your G–d  Who endows you with strength to perform deeds of valor.”[5] In particular, “war does not belong to the mighty.”[6]

So Yoav knew that in order to triumph over his foes, he needed divine blessings, and that this depends upon Torah study. But not the Torah study of the soldiers, for a soldier must focus his attention on the technicalities of warfare and cannot simultaneously analyze intricate Talmudic debates. Rather, the material efforts of the soldiers must be complemented by the spiritual efforts of the full-time Torah scholars, for “Torah protects and saves”[7]—Torah study brings protection and safety not only to those who study it, but to the Jewish people as a whole, and therefore to its protectors in particular.

Foolish Bravery

An analogy for this division of roles can be drawn from the army itself. Consider the chief general who sits calmly in his protected headquarters, poring over one classified intelligence report after another, calculating how the war ought to be fought—with what tactics, with which weapons, when to attack, how many soldiers to deploy, and countless other complex considerations. In the course of his duties, he instructs that others be dispatched to the battlefront, while he remains hard at work.

One day, his son and best friend approach him in outrage and accuse him of hypocrisy and cowardice: “How can you do this?! You send us and many others to face mortal danger, while you remain far from harm’s way in your cushy office chair, reading all day? Shame on you! As the verse puts it, ‘Will your brothers go to war while you sit here?’”[8]

Filled with guilt, the general concedes to the pressure, considering himself guilty of reprehensible double standards. He bows his head, clears away all the classified documents, closes down the headquarters, dons army fatigues and a gun, goes to the front, and fights.

Not only would no one benefit from this “sacrifice,” but it would lead to certain defeat and horrendous loss of life, may G–d save us, for both the soldiers and the civilians whom they are protecting.

So, too, on the broader, national level, in order for the army, the general, and everyone else involved in the material war effort to succeed, spiritual war efforts are necessary—devoted, full-time, G–d-fearing Torah scholars.

Spiritual Desertion

But when the Torah scholar lacks fear of Hashem and forgets what his Torah study accomplishes, he can become so captivated with awe for the heroic soldier that he desires to quit learning. He wants to let everyone know that he, too, can wield a gun, earn a medal, and perform daring feats of military prowess.

Just as one who is assigned to the front and abandons it is termed a deserter, so are Torah scholars assigned with the mission of studying Torah day and night who abandon their post, don army fatigues and a gun, and go to fight, also deserters. Since Jewish military victory depends upon the merit of Torah study, instead of benefiting the war effort, these young men jeopardize it and bring disaster upon the Jewish people, may G–d save us.

Unsung Heroism

In a sense, the Torah scholar is faced with a more difficult challenge than the soldier. Soldiers are lionized. They are given honorable mentions in the newspaper, awarded with marks of distinction, and their exploits and victories are publicly recounted and rhapsodized. They are national heroes.

But far away from the action of the battlefield, the Torah scholar sits and learns without fanfare. His efforts to protect the Jewish people (studying Torah all day is very difficult, as anyone who has done so, or attempted to do so, can testify) confer upon him no elevated status and glory; he goes unknown.

If anything, he is punished for his choice, subjected to constant insults and condemnation by his less religious brethren, who scream at him in self-righteous indignation: “Will your brothers go to war while you sit here?” And not only doesn’t his vital contribution earn him an honorable mention in the media, but the media regularly spews vitriol against the full-time Torah scholar and incites the populace to despise him, branding him a leech and a drain upon society, one who selfishly refuses to “share the burden.”

An Invisible Lifeline

There is a response to their complaint, albeit one that some don’t appreciate because they don’t want to.

The Torah is a “Torah of light”[9] in which Hashem reveals sublime, perfect teachings that illuminate our daily lives with moral clarity and direction. The Torah tells us: Look beneath the material reality.

Even the soldier himself depends upon others whose involvement is not visible. For the soldier to stand and shoot, many other army personnel and others are required to assist the war effort from the sidelines by providing food, technical know how, logistical direction, discipline, funding, and so on.

Likewise, the soldier needs spiritual help from behind the scenes in order to be alive. After all, all his training and weaponry will be of no avail if he is not alive. And the true source of life and safety is Hashem, Who grants us life through His holy Torah, which is “our life and the length of our days.”[10] So for the soldier to be alive, he must be infused with life through the life-giving studies of the Torah scholar.

[1] Sanhedrin 49a.
[2] Toras Kohanim on Vayikra 22:32.
[3] Mishlei 10: 22.
[4] Grace After Meals liturgy.
[5] Devarim 8:17,18.
[6] Koheles 9:11.
[7] Sotah 21a.
[8] Bamidbar 32:6.
[9] Mishlei 6:23.
[10] Evening prayer liturgy.


See also this letter of the Rebbe posted here, which touches on the topic:
You ask why Lubavitch Chassidim do not serve in Tzahal. Obviously you are misinformed, for many do and many have attained high rank in the defense forces on active duty; and not only in the Chaplaincy, as you thought. As for those who serve in the Chaplaincy, clearly that is where they contribute most to Tzahal and the security of the country, since keeping the morale of the defense forces on the highest level is of primary importance. It would be a poor judgment on the part of Tzahal  to press one who is qualified to be a Chaplain into service as a private, as it would be to force one who is qualified to be a colonel to serve as private instead.

While on this subject, let me mention a further point, though you do not refer to it explicitly, namely, the exemption of yeshivah students from military service. As you may know, this exemption was recognized and agreed to by the founder of Tzahal, the late D. Ben Gurion. It is based on the fact that a yeshivah student can accomplish more to the security of the country by continuing his Torah learning than by military duty. Anyone who is familiar with the Sedra Bechukosai and is not prejudiced can see this clearly.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Light Prepares for Darkness

Light Prepares for Darkness

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

I recently spent a few days in the country, where at night even the streets are much more poorly lit than in the city, and in the fields there is almost no light. Yet during my time here, I have not needed to walk around at night, only during the day.

Last night, for the first time, I had to make my way across several large fields in order to reach my destination, with only some faint streetlights in the distance and a glimmer of moonlight and starlight to help me find my way.

Although I did trip a few times and veered onto a minor detour, I managed. Why? I had gone down that path often enough during the daylight hours that the little light that shone was sufficient to direct me.

Perhaps the lesson is as follows. When one is in an environment of spiritual light, of holiness and purity, such as a beis ha'knesses (synagogue) or a beis ha'medrash (Torah study hall), the way is clear. In contrast, the outside world is a place of intense spiritual darkness (see here), rife with fraud and deception, ignorance of Hashem's Word, materialism, hedonism, and apathy to faith and even ridicule of it (see here). In this "doubled and redoubled darkness" the Jew is prone to lose his or her way, G-d forbid.

But when we are accustomed to devoting time daily to davven and learn in the beis ha'knesses and beis ha'medrash (and their equivalent as appropriate for women and girls)we keep ourselves spiritually attuned and fortify ourselves (see here). Then even when we descend into the hostile environment of the outside world, we will not lose our way, for we remember the experience of being in an environment of G-dliness and purity.

This also explains why it is so important for bochrim to attend Yeshivah, for girls to attend seminary, and for chassidim to go to the Rebbe (or, until Moshiach comes, the places where the holiness of the Rebbe resides--770 and the Ohel) at least once a year.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teshuvah: Regaining Our Passion for Truth

Teshuvah: Regaining
Our Passion for Truth

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

The greatness of youth is its idealism. A resolute, unremitting, unashamed refusal to compromise one’s standards and principles, even in the face of tremendous hardship and opposition—nay, specifically in such circumstances.

There are two kinds of compromise.
1.       Externally-imposed compromise. This is when one is apparently forced into a compromise. He would never act this way otherwise, he says, but what can he do? He is left with no choice. His circumstances dictate that he lower his standards, cut corners, settle for less. Life is not a fantasy and he can’t live in the clouds. He must grow up and live in the real world, which means that sometimes he must do things he finds objectionable for the sake of some purportedly greater cause.
2.       Self-imposed compromise. As time goes by, he starts slipping. He used to be careful to observe every single custom meticulously, every dikduk kal, but now it seems like so many ... minutiae. Of course, he’s still frum, but it no longer seems so crucial to be so ... farfrumt and farchnyokt as it did back when he was young, headstrong, and naïve. After all, almost no one else truly lives like that their whole lives, except for a handful of social outcasts, people who never grew up. He’s matured steadily over time, and maturity means mellowing out, being more “chill,” not taking yourself so seriously, and learning to have a little fun. And if it means cutting a corner, then no harm is done. No one else cares, nor will they find out, anyway. And as for Hashem? He’s all-forgiving, so He won’t mind either, surely.
Even in the first case, when the compromise was externally imposed, the person adjusts to his compromised state, and comes to feel that compromise is no big deal, and perhaps not even shameful. In any case, he learns to accept compromise as a normal part of life. And then, over the course of time, it is very likely that he will decline from the first kind of compromise to the second, G–d forbid.

When we live a life in which we are ever-cautious not to fall prey to all-too-human weakness, and persist in maintaining our personal standards courageously regardless of how others around us are acting, and the direct or indirect pressures that they may be placing upon us, then we are truly alive.

This is much more attainable when a person is physically young, because he has not yet gone out into the “real world” and had to spend all day in the company of spiritual sellouts, in external circumstances that test him, that play with his mind and wear him down until he starts to truly believe the lie that the materialistic society sells him from every direction that he has no choice but to compromise—to sin “just a little.”

But there is no such thing. You can’t sin “in moderation.” Nor can you compromise “in moderation.” No, once you start down that road, know that you’re making deals with terrorists, dancing with the devil, and inevitably “one sin brings another in its wake.”[1]

So then the relentless downward spiral—yes, the slippery slope—begins, and you go from being tainted to becoming slowly but surely corrupted. Our sages warn, “When one sins once, and again, he feels as if it is permissible.”[2] What he earlier recognized as a sin, he starts to view as a mere compromise, and then what he had previously viewed as a compromise becomes completely acceptable. And then he becomes even further desensitized, so that from feeling “as if it is permissible,” it becomes felt to be outright permissible, until it even becomes a Mitzvah! (See also here and here.)

Don’t fall into this trap.

But if you are no longer in your early twenties, chances are that you have, and that your idealism has declined (assuming you were fortunate enough to go through a stage of youthful idealism in the first place).

So now you need to uncorrupt yourself. Start with some brutal honesty. Idealism and truth-seeking always demand it, and honesty with oneself is needed first and foremost.

Stop living in denial. Admit it, you sinned. You didn’t merely “compromise” or “make mistakes” due to “circumstances beyond your control.” You’re not a passive victim, a helpless object, a leaf blown by the wind. That’s nonsense. Hashem gave you free choice. You were tested, and you failed. Yes, the test may have been very, very difficult. But so what? You’re still fully responsible for your conduct. And when you compromised, you corrupted, debased, and dehumanized yourself.

Now that’s not to say that everything you do is wrong; on the contrary, it is quite possible that most of your behavior is worthy. But that is neither here nor there. Grow up. Mitzvos don’t excuse aveiros.
Once you have truly accepted that you sinned (see here), then you can do Teshuvah, be cleansed, and change your ways. Then idealism—and its corollary, unapologetic disdain for compromise in all its ugly and insidious manifestations—can return.

Then your age no longer matters (as much). Passion for the absolute truth of the Torah of truth, and a willingness to fight for it, to sacrifice for it, to die for it and to live for it, to surrender oneself to it with every fiber of one’s being, to do everything in one’s power to live up to it and disseminate it to one and all with confidence and conviction—all these youthful feelings can then thrive again.

And when you translate this truth into your personal life, you are also able to lead and inspire others, to serve as a shining role model, a beacon of truthfulness, integrity, and joyful sacrifice for your family and community, filled with the enthusiasm and vigor of youth.

Adapted from the sicha of 13 Tammuz 5732.

[1] Avos 4:2.
[2] Yalkut Shimoni, Vayikra 25:661.

Dedicated in honor of the birthday of my dear son, Shneur Zalman ben Atarah Arielle, 
on 29 Av.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lift the Veil

Lift the Veil

 Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

In an earlier post, we explained the difference between gashmiyus—“physicality” and chumriyus—“coarseness.”

This also explains the lowly state of our world. In reality, within every being in our universe there is a chayus Eloki, a divine vitalizing force, that creates it as it is, maintains its existence, and without which it could not exist. Yet although it is right here within every single being, we do not feel it.

But it wasn’t always this way. In the world’s original state, before the sin of Adam and Chava, “the divine presence dwelt in this lowly world.”  Then one could sense tangibly how the existence of every physical being stems from the chayus Eloki, and so one naturally submitted to that vitality, and therefore to Hashem.

But the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge tainted the cosmos as a whole. It created an intense veil over the chayus Eloki. Chassidus calls this veil chumriyus, and the chumriyus in our world is very great.

However, during the period of exile, we are charged with the mission of rectifying the cosmos though our performance of Torah and Mitzvos, and this gradually diminishes the chumriyus. The veil of chumriyus will be completely lifted when Moshiach comes, and all will “see”  the underlying reality of the chayus Eloki (may it happen now!).

This is true not only on a grand scale, but also on a miniature scale, even before Moshiach comes. We may not yet be able to refine ourselves to the point of literally seeing the chayus Eloki, but though hard work, we are all fully able to reach a far deeper level of inner sensitivity to G–dliness (see here and here).

The principle here is that the more a vessel is refined, the more it can contain. Consider the mind: The more one’s mental capacities are refined and sharpened, the deeper the concepts one is able to grasp. Likewise, the more the person engages in avodah (see here) to refine the coarseness within of the Bestial Soul and the body, the more he becomes open and receptive to awareness of Hashem (see here).

This means that when he meditates upon Hashem’s greatness before prayer, his mind becomes much more receptive, and the concept he reflects upon is truly absorbed and integrated into his mind and heart. Likewise, when he studies Torah, he will sense the divine light within Torah (see here).

And then, when he goes out to engage with the outside world, not only will this interaction not adversely affect him by detracting from his sensitivity to G–dliness (as it would otherwise), but it will enhance it:

In the world at large, he will sense the world’s dependence on the chayus Eloki. On a personal level, he will be imbued with the awareness that all his blessings come from Hashem alone; he will notice Hashem’s guiding hand, intimately controlling every aspect of his life; and he will succeed at illuminating everyone and everything in his surroundings with an ever-greater awareness of Hashem’s presence.

Based on the Rebbe Rashab’s Sefer HaMaamarim 5678, p. 85.

Dedicated in honor of the birthday of my dear daughter, Shaina bas Atarah Arielle, 
on 22 Tammuz.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Overcoming the Dangers of Intense Religiosity (pt. 4)

Overcoming the Dangers of
Intense Religiosity (pt. 4)

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

(This is the last installment of a four-part series. The previous posts: pts. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3.)

We can also observe the phenomenon of well-meaning but misplaced religious feeling in a contemporary context, and on a far more basic level than was described in the previous installments of this essay.

Secular attitudes combined with ignorance of and sometimes outright disrespect for Jewish law have led many to follow practices that are in violation of the traditions of our holy Torah. And although they outright reject the tenets, laws, and customs of the Judaism of their ancestors, they bizarrely claim to be following it.

E.g., some people become enthusiastic about prayer—which is, indeed, a very sublime Mitzvah—but then pray in a mixed service without a mechitzah, or pray using a liturgy that they made up themselves while rejecting the divinely-inspired, required liturgy formulated millennia ago by the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah.

“Why do the fine points matter so much?” they protest. “The main thing is that we’re inspired in serving Hashem, and Hashem isn’t so petty—He loves us and hears us whether we follow a prescribed text or not!”

One recent high-profile example of this may be the “Women of the Wall,” who insist on their “right” to violate the traditional synagogue laws adhered to at Judaism’s holiest site, the Kosel. (My hesitation in including them in this category is that it seems that for many of them, their fervor is in fact political, not religious.)

This is comparable to approaching a human king or a prime minister with an impassioned plea that he spare one’s life, but with the qualification:
I know that your majesty has issued certain edicts, but I’ve decided to flout them: For instance, although I know that you’ve declared that when we come before you, we should follow the dress code that you prescribe, I don’t care—I’ll dress as I please when I come to ask you for a favor. I also know that you’ve explicitly stated that you want us to present our requests to you using a prescribed text, but I insist on expressing my individuality, and asking you for what I want in my own way. Yet I expect your highness to grant my heartfelt request regardless, because after all, you are so very merciful indeed.
How outrageous. What human king would tolerate such a request, never mind accede to it? How much more so is such an attitude completely inappropriate when one approaches the King of all kings, Hashem.[1]

In conclusion, on every level, the Jew should be careful to ensure that his spiritual, inspired feelings for Hashem are not expressed inappropriately, whether in the form of somehow mistreating others, or violating Jewish law. He attains this by strengthening his acceptance of Hashem’s absolute sovereignty and authority—kabolas ol Malchus Shomayim. Then not only will these feelings not result in inappropriate behavior, but they will inspire one to much more careful observance of halacha and much more sincere devotion towards one’s fellow Jew.

Adapted from Sichos Kodesh 5723, p. 54.

[1] A truly courageous rabbi will find the words to make sure his congregants are aware of this. See a letter of the Rebbe on the responsibility of a congregational rabbi to object to changes in Judaism here.

Read this essay in full on Scribd here!

Dedicated in honor of the ninth birthday of beni bechori, Shneur Zalman ben Atara Arielle, on 29 Av. May he grow lTorah, l'Chupah, ulemaasim tovim, and become a chossid, yerei Shomayim, and lamdan!

Dedicated by Reb Yisrael Meir Raphael and family.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Overcoming the Dangers of Intense Religiosity (pt. 3)

Overcoming the Dangers of
Intense Religiosity (pt. 3)

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver

Earlier (pts. 1 and pt. 2), we explained the phenomenon of well-meant, otherwise worthy religious feelings being “hijacked” and being expressed in a counter-productive, even harmful manner.

Now for the big question: How does one avoid falling into this trap?

One root cause of spirituality going awry is the lack of the proper foundation of one’s service of Hashem.

To serve Hashem properly it is not enough to eschew hedonism, to think constantly about Hashem, to be spiritual, and to love Hashem. It is not even enough to fear Him. The same goes for fulfilling the Mitzvos that relate to the sphere of interactions with other people: It is not enough for a religious person to be generous and hospitable, to be humble and forgiving, to be devoted and tireless in serving one’s community. 

Yes, these are all important and even vital elements of a deep, personal relationship with Hashem. Yet all of them can go awry, so none of them comprise the very foundation of one’s relationship with Hashem.

The beginning and foundation of serving Hashem is very (and perhaps even deceptively) simple: Kabolas ol Malchus Shomayim, submission to the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven.[1] This means that one is in a state of constant submission, such that all one’s behavior is part of serving Hashem, and is done with the intention of following His wishes.

With regard to emotional expression, this means that no emotion or desire, however worthy it may otherwise be, should be expressed exclusively because one feels that way.

Rather, even if the emotion coursing through one’s heart is fully appropriate, one should be conscious of its inner core. This very emotion is part of serving Hashem, for through it one fulfills a divine command—the command to feel certain feelings.

For Torah and halacha direct us not only in our actions, but also in proper thoughts and feelings, in “chovos halevavos—duties of the heart.” In this case, not only is it worthy to love and fear Hashem, but in so doing, we fulfill explicit divine commands[2] (which are, in fact, Biblical obligations no less binding than the obligation to keep Shabbos or kosher): “Love Hashem, your G–d”[3] and “Fear Hashem, your G–d.”[4]

This holds true not only for spontaneous, gut feelings (which are much more likely to be hijacked in the manner described above), but even for feelings that emerged, as they should, from a process of study, comprehension, and hisbonenus (“contemplation” or “meditation”). For intellect, emotions, and the (very worthy) process of intellect producing emotions all depend upon the firm foundation of Kabolas ol Malchus Shomayim for their success.

When a Jew’s life is based on this foundation, his entire relationship with Hashem is stable and strong, and then he is able to attain success in his spiritual strivings in all areas and on all levels[5]—intellect, emotions, and thought, speech, and action. Moreover, it ultimately also paves the way for Hashem’s blessings for material prosperity.

If, however, one gets carried away with a passion for a holy pursuit (in whatever area), but lacks the awareness that this feeling is not just self-expression, but a part of serving Hashem and fulfilling a divine command, then no matter how worthy and holy the passion, this person is at high risk. This passion may well devolve into inappropriate feelings and behavior, as explained in the previous posts in this series.

Thus, we find how Nadav and Avihu, who yearned to serve Hashem on a high level, were so intent on their desire to offer up the incense in the Mishkan that they did so when they were not supposed to. They then “came too close to Hashem, and died.”[6] The reason this happened was that their passion to come close to Hashem lacked kabolas ol Malchus Shomayim, the simultaneous desire to submit to Him, and so it ended tragically. Let us not make the same mistake.

Adapted from the Rebbe's Sichos Kodesh 5723, p. 54.

Read this essay in full on Scribd here!
[1] Cf. Tanya beg. ch. 41.
[2] These are counted in the Six Constant Mitzvos binding on men and women equally, as enumerated in the introduction to Sefer HaChinuch.
[3] Devarim 6:5.
[4] Ibid. 6:13.
[5] Cf. Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 1, pp. 104-105.
[6] Vayikra 12:1; Ohr HaChaim ad loc.

Dedicated by Reb Yisrael Meir Raphael and family.

Like what you read? The articles I write take a lot of time and effort. Please contact me to sponsor an article for (at least) $36 in honor of the birthday, wedding anniversary, or yarhtzeit of a loved one, or for a refuah shleimah or the like. Also, see here concerning the tremendous merit of supporting the dissemination of Chassidus, and the blessings that one receives for doing so.