THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

Desire and Essence
Moses' task was to connect Jewish souls to their essence.
The verse mandating the nation's census says lit.: "Raise the heads of the Jewish people to their skulls..."

G-d commands Moses to take the soul's lower desire - born of the soul's head and brain, and clothed in human consciousness - and elevate it to its source and root: the soul's essence which hovers above, transcendent, a level at which the essence of G-d is fully revealed.
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.
Roots of Secular & Religious Fundamentalism
The Rebbe shed a tear and then replied, "In whom do you expect me to believe after Auschwitz? In man?"
Without belief in G-d, we cannot objectively define any behavior as good or evil. No one can objectively claim that gassing a mother and her children is any more evil than killing a mouse. When the vision of the sacred dies in the soul of a person, he or she is capable of becoming a servant of the devil.
Soul Inscription
The opening word of the Ten Commandments sets the tone and captures the essence of all the commandments and of the entire Torah.
The most famous statement ever uttered in all of history -- The Ten Commandments -- begins with an unusual four-letter word: Anochi, instead of the more common "ani". The Talmud explains that Anochi is an acronym for Ana Nafshi Ketovit Yehovit. (Shabbat 105a) Simply translated: I Myself wrote [these words and] gave [them to you]. Or the far more intriguing: "I wrote down My very Soul [and] gave it to you".
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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