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THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

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In the Torah's account of G‑d's command to Noah to build an ark, the Hebrew word for "ark" is "teva", which can also mean "word". Thus, these verses are used as the basis for the mystical approach to language in general, and prayer in particular - carefully guarded and measured speech dedicated to the service of G‑d.
The Baal Shem Tov utilizes the Talmud's principles regarding ritual purity to teach us about rectification of the human soul. Just as the degree of intention and preparation for a particular food may render it susceptible to ritual impurity, so do a person's consciousness and efforts affect the level of soul that one can rectify.
G-d chose floodwaters, in particular, as the means to annihilate the sinners who had overrun the earth because water possesses the ability to spiritually purify. The burden of earning one's livelihood may be described as a form of servitude. We are not entirely free agents so long as we need to work for our bread. But servitude also purifies.
Noah's strength was fending off the temptations of his times. Shem miShmuel says that Noah had to work hard to escape the vices of his generation and not act like a limb "severed" from G‑d. When he succeeded, G‑d established his achievement as a mitzvah – not eating a severed limb, a commandment for all times.
R. Tzadok says that whenever we stumble in our lives, there was some blessing that was trying to come through in that moment, and for whatever reason we didn’t rise to the occasion. G-d offered us a gift and it slipped through our hands.
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