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Chassidut and Moshiach

Question:

Why is it important to study Chassidut, the mystical teachings of Torah? Isn't it more important to first learn the basics, such as the Bible and Jewish law? 

Answer:

Chassidic teachings are a sample of the "new Torah" that Moshiach will teach. 

There is a custom in Jewish homes that on Friday, we sample the food prepared for Shabbat. This gives us a foretaste of the Shabbat delicacies and causes us to look forward to the Shabbat meal with increased anticipation. Similarly, before Moshiach's coming we are treated to a "sample" of the Torah that Moshiach will teach. These teachings are contained within the study of Chassidut.

R. Israel Baal Shem Tov began a revolution in Jewish life when he began to reveal mystical secrets of Torah, which had heretofore been guarded and taught only to the most elite scholars. Succeeding generations of Chassidic leaders expanded upon the Baal Shem Tov's innovation. In particular, the Rebbes of Chabad taught Torah's mysticism in a form that could be readily understood. Because we are so close to the time of Moshiach, it is now not only appropriate but also imperative that the mystical dimension of Torah become the property of the average Jew.

Obviously, we cannot ignore the importance of studying the basics of Talmud or Jewish law. However, studying Chassidic teachings provides enlightenment that energizes us and gives us greater excitement for fulfilling mitzvot and studying all branches of Torah. Chassidic teachings are the "soul" of Judaism, which give life and meaning to every other aspect. Thus, an increase in the study of Chassidus leads naturally to an improvement in all areas of Torah and mitzvah observance. These teachings bring joy and enthusiasm to our observance of Torah and Mitzvot, and make us aware of the wonders that await us in the Messianic era.

 

 


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