Read a piece on the Chassidus titled “Soul Matters” written by Rabbi Sholom Schapiro, the Shliach of the NY Torah Center on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
When it comes to spirituality, we are more inclined than ever to discuss the intangible.
We often talk about the vibe of a place, or the feeling that we get around certain people. We talk about the aura of an individual or the spirit of a beautiful painting. All of these terms are, to some extent, an admission to the spiritual energy that pulsates through all of creation.
We may not see it as such, and we may couch these feelings in secular terms, there is no escaping the inevitability of some deeper force that is felt at certain times.
As with everything in this world, Judaism teaches that this energy is G-dly. Each of us possesses a soul that is G-dly, and indeed, G-d’s energy is all around us and in all of creation. Our soul is literally a piece of G-d, and it feels the deeper, spiritual reality that lies within us and throughout the universe.
What is more, is that the soul is not a foreign being at odds with the material nature of the body. On the contrary, it fuses with the body that houses it. It merges in essential oneness with the body, so that the two forces harmonize and work as one being.
Perhaps we can say that the spiritual awareness that exists in society is a harbinger of the future era of moshiach, when G-dliness will be tangible and real to us. Perhaps we can already sense the spiritual era that is just around the corner.
On a similar note, this shabbat we will be celebrating the 19th of Kislev. On this day in the year 1798, the first Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman, was released from captivity in Czarist Russia. This holiday is called the new year for chassidut, as it ushered in the dissemination of chassidic teachings.
Now that we are close to the times of Moshiach, when the spirituality (G-dliness) of the world will be revealed, we are able to “taste” a bit of that era, thanks to the teachings of chassidut.
These teachings help us understand the spiritual feelings that we can experience now. The teachings of chassidut are called the soul of the Torah, since they explain the inner dimension, G-dliness and the neshama, the soul.
This year, in honor of the 19th of Kislev, let’s get more in touch with our soul. It is a good time to begin studying the book of Tanya, where the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman explains these ideas and how they can be translated into our material world.
The world acknowledges the existence of spirituality, all we have to do is explain that this spirit is of a G-dly nature.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year in the study of Chassidut and the path of Chassidut,
Dedicated in loving memory of רונן בן יהושע הלוי ז״ל
Mr. Ronen Levy
Rabbi Sholom Schapiro
KOLLEL TORAH CENTER
393 Fifth Avenue, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10016
“Let’s welcome Moshiach with acts of goodness and kindness” – The Rebbe