THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

The Harder They Come…
Jethro's soul transcends that of Moses
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi teaches that Moses bowed down to Jethro, the priest of Midian and showed him much affection for him since Jethro's soul transcends that of Moses.
Seeing Thunder
Pleasure is superior even to wisdom.
The shofar at the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai hints to the level of sublime pleasure necessary as its prerequisite. Unlike the lofty boundless holiness represented the shofar's mouth, the mitzvahs of the Torah give us not only the ability to serve G-d from our constricted earth-bound consciousness, but also provide us the opportunity to unite the physical world with the infinite.
The Conversion of Jethro
He had been a worshipper of "every form of idolatry"; what convinced him that Judaism was true?
A true Hebrew name describes the essence of the person; the commentaries tell us that Jethro had seven names. Since Jethro transformed all of his seven powers of negative spirituality into the seven powers of holiness, he took on seven names, each corresponding to one of the new paths of holiness which now became his essence.
A Sight to Behold
A Sight to Behold
Sweetness, light and joy at the receiving of the Torah
The metaphor of sight is employed in describing lofty and awesome revelations that are very near to the recipients. Therefore, sight is used to describe the tremendous revelation of G-d's essence and the supernal joy experienced at the Torah's giving - as well as the delight of the Jewish nation at these revelations.
Sinai Up in Smoke
Mount Sinai was a revelation of both an ascending and descending Returning Light
After G-d's flame affected the spiritual incineration and cleansing of the Three Lower Worlds, they "went up in smoke". Only the Worlds' residue remained on earth. Thus, Mount Sinai then resembled the state of the world in the Future Era, when people won't eat or drink because their bodies won't be nourished from physical meals anymore but rather, they will obtain their sustenance from supernal lights.
Sinai achieved a total fusion of matter and spirit. It empowered mankind to renovate the very nature of existence; to transform the material into spiritual fuel. We now can take what would have been an ordinary experience and make it extraordinary. Instead of a fleeting moment, a transient life can become eternal, the temporary can become permanent and the mortal – immortal.
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